Perfectionism: A medical condition?

Holy moly! In taking so long to post my previous post, I wondered why it was taking me so long, I wondered if there was a scientific explanation to describe my being a perfectionist.

Much to my surprise (dismay) there is! So, I had to blog about it! A few of you have posted about procrastination, and found a scientific reason, so I thought I would try that here.

What a perfect image for the topic. Perfectionism explains my procrastination.


In learning more about “Perfectionism” my first stop was Wikipedia which told me that I could have  “a higher morality rate” due to my perfectionism.  Multiple blog authors (here, here and here) have suggested that this is a serious condition that you need to begin to manage. There was even an ABC report that described becoming anxious and depressed due to being a perfectionist.

Apparently I need help! Apparently, I need strategies to deal with my perfectionism.

Thank goodness I read the whole Wikipedia page and other websites (the perfectionist in me didn’t want to get anything wrong) and learnt that only some traits can be classed as negative perfectionism. Other traits in fact can be positive traits.

Psychologists are essentially very interested in how perfectionism can play a role in causing depression and conflict. A very interesting google search for someone without a background in psychology….
A study found that college students who procrastinate more in early in the semester are likely to experience more stress in the end of the semester. They also found that if you’re a perfectionist, you’re likely to be more stressed at the end of semester.

Another study found that if you’re a perfectionist, you’re probably not going to be as original in creative pursuits.

After all of this reading, I am not sure that I want to be known as a perfectionist anymore! Despite scientific research into this area, I think that my desire to do my best (or be a perfectionist) has got me to where I am today.

I’m no psychologist, but, I think I’m quite balanced on the spectrum of perfectionism. (Source: Psychology Today )

However, this brings up a bigger issue for me. Society today is moving towards that thirst for knowledge, and a continued desire to put everything in boxes, including every aspect of our behaviour. I have noticed things such as “being concerned about diet” being classed as a condition, Orthorexia. It just seems strange to me to have to class things in this manner.

How do you feel about every trait and characteristic of a human being classed in some way as maladaptive?

2 Responses to “Perfectionism: A medical condition?”

  1. Amanda says:

    Thanks for your comment Nicole – glad you found the result of my procrastination interesting 🙂

    Great point, a search for “normality” is definitely provoking this over classification of everything humans do!

  2. Nicole says:

    That’s really interesting! I like how you harnessed your procrastination for a blog post!
    I think it’s our obsession about “normality” and what constitutes “normal” that drives us to classify traits as maladaptive.