Posted: October 17th, 2013
Certain psychological conditions are hard to explain because of the effect they have on people. Numerous psychological conditions have different implications on their victims and the victim’s families. My cousin Alex is sometimes referred to as a perfectionist because he always strives for perfection, does not like being criticized, and is aggressive sometimes, and everything he does is done to perfection (Flett and Paul 197). His mother sent him to live with us because they felt that he was too much. This psychological condition is called perfectionism. My cousin behaves the way he does because he suffers from perfectionism.
Most people think that perfectionism is caused by the type of food one eats or the company they keep. It is also sometimes believed that perfectionists are people under false pretense. Food does not cause perfectionism because my cousin has suffered from this problem since childhood. He is extremely particular about the food he eats, but there is no scientific proof that certain foods cause perfectionism. Alex used to have many friends growing up but when the condition worsened, all his friends stopped associating with him in fear of contracting the condition. This means that his friends and family were not the cause of perfectionism. The notion that perfectionists are pretending so that things can be done their way is wrong. Perfectionists have no room for pretense; they do everything with utmost concentration and meticulousness.
Alex would perform averagely well in his school work and his mother always praised his work. The praise he received form his mother motivated him to work even harder in school. His performances improved, and within a short period, Alex came first in every test and exam in school. Last year after sitting for the end of semester exams, he came in second after LisaMarie Preston and his mother did not praise his performance. My cousin did not eat for two days because he felt that he had become a failure. He would lock himself up in his bedroom and read extensively. At first, his mother thought that he would get over it, but Alex persisted with his reading until he stopped talking to people, he only kept rambling to himself about becoming first in class. His mother took him to a psychiatrist, and he was diagnosed with perfectionism disorder.
The praise Alex received from his mother made him feel appreciated and pushed him to work harder. His mother’s excessive praise made him feel pressured to maintain the standard of high performance. Alex felt that he had to continue performing his best for him to be accepted in the family. When LisaMarie Preston performed better than he did, he felt worthless, and that he had fallen short so punished himself by not eating and reading expansively. His family did not understand this behavior, but after diagnosis, he was found to be suffering from perfectionism.
Perfectionism is a psychological disorder that has its victims striving to be the best at everything and always making those around them feel inadequate (Flett and Paul 197). Because he wanted to feel accepted, Alex punished himself for coming in second in the exam. His desire for self-worth and acceptance made him develop this condition and consequently his family grew tired of putting up with him. Perfectionists have problems relating to other people because they feel that they are better and things always have to be done to their preference. Such patients require extensive psychiatric assistance to help them cope with their condition.
Flett, Gordon L, and Paul L. Hewitt. Perfectionism: Theory, Research, and Treatment. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2002. Print.
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