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Study: Anxiety and Depression are Linked to Perfectionism
Aug 06, 2021
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Is it all right to be a perfectionist? Are you one of those who want everything to be in perfect order or plans and work to be impeccably done? Some people say that there is nothing wrong with being a perfectionist because it drives you to excel and do a task without any error or flaw. Others may opine that there is no one who could be perfect and it is impossible to be one. 

Perfectionism may be a relative word or concept but one thing is sure, it is hard to do some things perfectly. Others can be perfect in several ways such as a perfect score in an academic test. However you are a perfectionist, it can do you harm.  

“ A survey by the American College Health Association reported that 61% of college students had feelings of hopelessness during the previous academic year, 45% felt so depressed they had trouble functioning, and 9% suffered suicidal ideation.” 

(https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2006-2697)

“Several studies have linked feelings of anxiety and depression with that of perfectionism and an overly critical self-evaluation”

Depressed teenage daughter sitting at the desk at home while her mother yelling at her

"Other studies have linked this perfectionism with highly critical parents who instill pressures to excel. Perfectionism is challenging to the individual and has a broader effect on society because it may stifle creativity and unencumbered thinking."

“There are no longitudinal studies that directly link intense preparation for adulthood during childhood to this rise in mental health needs, and there certainly are other causes, but some experts believe today’s pressured lifestyle is an important contributor."

"High schools, colleges, and universities throughout the country are reporting that more students may be cheating to achieve the desired end result of a superior grade.85,86 Despite grade inflation over the last decades, many teachers report increased stress in students when they achieve less-than-perfect scores."

"This competitive era may be producing a minority of young people so intensely worried about the appearance of high achievement that they will forsake core values such as fairness and honesty for the sake of acquiring good grades."

As the school opening is nearing, it is time for parents to prepare their children to face to face classes without being too critical of their school performance leading to being overly self-critical and perfectionism that could pose risks to their mental health and personality.

While parents are partly to be blamed based on factual research on students becoming overly self-critical or becoming perfectionists, on the other hand, "Adults who may already be burdened by work responsibilities and maintaining a household find themselves sacrificing their downtime because they need to arrange activities and transport children between appointments."

“Most importantly, parents lose the opportunity for perhaps the highest-quality time with their children. Some of the best interactions occur during downtime—just talking, preparing meals together, and working on a hobby or art project, playing sports together, or being fully immersed in child-centered play.”

Aside from parents, the school and the community themselves may have their fair share of responsibility towards making children and students as a whole not too focused on excellence in academic achievement but rather be a balanced individual with goals in academic success and at the same time being a person with good character and wholesome personality.

"Colleges could reduce the stress levels of young people and their parents if they offered clear, more realistic expectations about the type of students they seek and helped families to understand that there is a match for each reasonably prepared student."

"Colleges should address the myth that desirable students are those who excel in every area. In the adult world, people rarely excel in more than 1 or 2 areas, while well-balanced individuals enjoy several others."

Also,” colleges should recognize the possibility that when children believe that they must excel in all areas to gain admission, they might respond to those perceived and unrealistic expectations with stress and anxiety."

Anxiety and depression brought about by perfectionism may all be conquered and reduced if all sectors of the society especially in the community will go hand in hand to work with dedication and passion for the common good of the children and the studentry as a whole.

The home should be the starting point where children’s behavior and character are molded by their parents together with their academic achievement. As such, parents should not be too imposing on their children and should just be a counselor and guide to lead their children to the right path of life.  

Height Adjustable Ergonomic Study Desk

To make this possible, start the school opening with a bang. Surprise your children with a great gift that they will surely love and appreciate. For example, why not gift your school children a nice study desk from Flexispot. The one that is highly recommendable is the  Height Adjustable Ergonomic Study Desk. 

Not only is it comfortable and ergonomic for your children to study on, this standard electric height-adjustable desk frame ensures more smooth and comfortable transitions compared with a manual one.

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