Are you also overly obsessed with being or want something perfect? If so, you may be living with OCD perfectionism. This form of OCD can be extremely debilitating and can keep people from living their lives to the fullest. In this blog post, we will discuss the reality of living with OCD perfectionism and offer some tips for overcoming it.
What Is OCD Perfectionism?
OCD perfectionism is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that involves an excessive need to achieve perfection. People living with perfectionism And OCD may worry excessively about mistakes or feel compelled to redo tasks multiple times until they believe it’s perfect. They may also have unrealistic expectations of themselves and be easily frustrated when things don’t turn out the way they want them to. People living with perfectionism And OCD may also have difficulty finishing tasks or letting go of a project.
Perfectionism is a personality trait that involves an excessive need for order, control, and perfection. People with perfectionist tendencies may be dissatisfied with anything less than perfect results and often take on too many tasks or projects. Perfectionists tend to have very high standards that are difficult to meet, so they may become overwhelmed when they make mistakes or don’t achieve their desired results.
What are the signs of perfectionism OCD?
We have mentioned some of the common signs that are shown in people with perfectionism OCD:
- Excessive worry about making mistakes or not doing something perfectly.
- Feelings of guilt and frustration when something isn’t perfect.
- Difficulty finishing tasks or letting go of projects.
- Inability to accept compliments or criticism.
- Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself.
- Anxiety and fear of failure.
- Intrusive thoughts of not doing something perfectly. Avoidance of activities because of fear of making mistakes or not doing them correctly.
- Indulge in activities to manage the anxiety caused by perfectionism. Such as repetitive movements, doubts, and rituals.
What Causes Perfectionism OCD?
There are some possible causes of this condition:
- Cognitive Distortions: Some people living with this form of OCD tend to have cognitive distortions, like black-and-white thinking, which can lead to unrealistic expectations that are hard to live up to.
- Genetics: Research shows there is a genetic component linked with OCD perfectionism; it tends to run in families.
- Environmental Causes: Perfectionism can be caused by external pressures, such as teachers who expect too much from their children. It may also be influenced by societal standards of perfection. Parenting plays an important role in the development of a person’s personality. In cases where parents are careless in their behavior and expectations, children tend to become more anxious about their achievements and desire for perfection. Trauma can also lead to perfectionism OCD as it creates a feeling of insecurity and unease that may be resolved through seeking perfection.
- Biological Causes: There is also a biological component to OCD perfectionism, as some people may have an increased sensitivity in the brain to mistakes and criticism. This can lead to seeking perfect outcomes in order to avoid criticism or mistakes.
How Perfectionism Is Connected To OCD?
Perfectionism is a core symptom of OCD. It’s an excessive need to do something perfectly or to be perfect in some way. This might mean striving for excellence in all areas, such as personal appearance, academics, career goals, or relationships. People living with this form of OCD are often extremely self-critical and have difficulty accepting compliments or criticism. They often feel a sense of guilt when they don’t reach their own expectations and may be reluctant to take risks because they fear failure.
It becomes problematic when a perfectionist becomes obsessed with it and it starts to interfere with their daily lives. Perfectionism is often linked to anxiety and depression, as people may be unable to cope with the constant pressure they place on themselves.
How To Deal With OCD Perfectionism?
Here are some basic things that can be done to help manage perfectionism OCD syndromes:
To control the symptoms of perfectionism OCD, people may need to address the underlying thoughts and feelings that are causing them distress. Some other options are:
- Accept Your Limitations: People living with this form of OCD may need to learn to accept that they have limitations and can’t be perfect all the time. It’s important to let go of unrealistic expectations and focus instead on achievable goals.
- Self-Care: Taking care of your physical and mental health is essential for managing perfectionism OCD. This might include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and engaging in calming activities like yoga or meditation.
- Set Realistic Goals: Setting realistic goals can help manage OCD perfectionism by allowing people to focus on what’s achievable instead of trying to reach an impossible standard.
- Challenge Negative Thoughts: It’s important to challenge negative thoughts and beliefs associated with perfectionism OCD. This might involve recognizing when you are being too self-critical or unrealistic in your expectations.
- Mindfulness-Activity: Practicing mindfulness activities, like mindful breathing or body scans, can help people living with this form of OCD to observe their thoughts and feelings non-judgmentally. This can help them gain perspective and accept their mistakes without allowing them to become overwhelming.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: CBT is an effective approach to treating OCD, including perfectionism. This type of therapy focuses on identifying and challenging unhelpful thoughts and behaviors in order to gain control over them.
- Exposure and response prevention: ERP is another form of treatment for OCD. This involves gradually exposing the person to their fear, without engaging in compulsive behavior. It helps them learn how to cope with anxiety without resorting to compulsive behaviors.
Some people may also benefit from taking a course of medication to help manage their symptoms. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed for OCD and can help reduce anxiety levels.
Exercises And Meditation
Exercises like yoga, running, and stretching can help reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. Practicing meditation or mindfulness techniques may also be beneficial in helping to manage the symptoms of perfectionism OCD. Meditation is another way to reduce stress levels and provide a sense of calm. They may also be useful for helping to manage perfectionist tendencies, as they can help people become more aware of their thoughts and feelings.
Living with perfectionism OCD can be difficult, but it is possible to manage the symptoms with effective treatment and self-care. Taking care of your physical and mental health, setting realistic goals, engaging in mindfulness activities, and seeking professional help are all important components for dealing with this form of OCD. With proper support and guidance, you can learn how to manage your perfectionism and lead a more fulfilling life.
Take care, and don’t forget that you are not alone! OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. If you have any queries regarding OCD treatment, ERP therapy experienced therapists at OCDMantra can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session