- In India, the rising perfectionism among youth is adversely affecting their mental health and triggering suicidal tendencies.
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that imperfection is extremely necessary for personal and professional growth.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health problems like anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies have become more prevalent among today’s generation. A recent study has found that the obsession with being perfect in every aspect of life has a significant impact on people’s mental health and increases the risk of both suicidal thoughts and attempted suicides.
Utter perfection may seem beneficial in today’s ferociously competitive Indian society. But the pursuit doesn’t really prevail. Many people feel the pressure to maintain a high standard. But studies have revealed that the obsession with being perfect or trying to be right all the time may backfire over time.
At least once in our lives, we all have felt an urge to be perfect or flawless in our personal and professional fields. The obsession with extreme perfection is more common among young adults as they are more likely to have higher expectations, such as scoring highest grades, pursuing the trendiest profession, earning high salary, or even owning a popular Instagram page.
Being a perfectionist or a successful person is a symbol of pride in Indian society. People are more likely to respect individuals who have achieved success more than others. But if the perceived push or peer pressure from the outside world transforms into guilt, conviction, and self-retribution, it can lead to some serious mental health problems. However, it has been wrongly assumed that perfection comes with loads of applause, adoration, acceptance, and appreciation. But a perfectionist often suffers from a perplexing dilemma in reality.
Research has discovered that perfectionists are more likely to have a higher risk of developing imposter syndrome which is a psychological condition that leads to people doubting their own skills, talents, and achievements. As per a study including medical interns in India, 46.6% of participants experienced high or intense levels of imposter syndrome due to perfectionism. Psychologists have even linked self-critical perfectionism with an increased risk of bipolar and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The adverse effects of perfectionism not only include psychological issues, but also several physical illnesses. Many studies have shown that perfectionists often develop high blood pressure problems and cardiovascular diseases.
NIH experts have explained that making mistakes and acknowledging them is very important for achieving success. Self-compassion promotes productivity, healthy relationships, and well-being in general.
- World Health Organization
- National Center for Biotechnology Information
- Mascarenhas VR, D’Souza D, Bicholkar A. Prevalence of impostor phenomenon and its association with self-esteem among medical interns in goa, India. International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health. 2019;6:355-9.