The Idea of Perfection and Eating Disorders: A Possible Connection?

Anorexic and weight obsessed young woman, measuring her very thin and slim waist

Perfectionism is about holding everything to very high standards. Sometimes, these standards are too high, and when this is applied to a person’s body image, having excessively high standards can negatively impact the person’s health.

These people often develop an eating disorder. If left untreated, these disorders can gravely affect the way people live. But how does perfectionism affect a person’s view of his body?

The truth about perfectionism

Perfectionism is a complex personality characteristic that doesn’t have any specific definition. Some people view it as a symptom, while others see it as a personality trait. Like many other traits, it has its positive and negative aspects, too. Some see it as an asset and in some cases it can motivate someone to pursue their goals. Meanwhile, others view it as a burden that can even be problematic in wrong situations.

The clinical diagnosis of perfectionism has three aspects. The first one is the continuous expectation that you or others must meet very high standards. The second is judging one’s self-worth due to the person’s ability to strive for high standards. The third aspect entails a continuous need to meet these standards, in some cases to the exclusion of all else.

People often exhibit perfectionism in various aspects of their lives. It can reflect in their performance at school or work. It can also be observed in their relationships, or even in their preferred forms of leisure or hobbies. Their drive for perfection is frequently reflected in how they speak, as well as how they write.

Characteristics of people with perfectionism

People with perfectionism often display behaviors that can help them maintain their beliefs. A few of these behaviors can include excessive organizing and list-making. Very Well Mind says that other traits include excessive checking, and correcting others.

Also, most people who have this trait often avoid doing things. That’s because they fear that they won’t meet the standards that they set for themselves. They can display avoidance behavior such as indecisiveness and avoiding tasks. They also tend to give up too soon, especially if they feel that they won’t succeed. Most people who have clinical perfectionism often see their behavior affecting their mental health. It also affects their closest relationships and even their physical health.

How clinical perfectionism affects eating disorders

Woman with anorexia sitting on bed

Perfectionism often involves a relentless drive to hold one’s self to a very high standard. When they fail to achieve these criteria, they often engage in harsh self-criticism.
Medical Express says that perfectionism has a link between sadness and relationship problems. In turn, they may rely on food to cope with their negative emotions.

Going to a center for eating disorder treatment in Westport can help. But treating perfectionism in its early stages is a better option. Doing so increases the chances of preventing any chances of developing eating disorders.
Bulimia nervosa, a common eating disorder, lasts for at least eight years before any of its symptoms begin to pass. In addition, 25 percent of people with eating disorders often develop chronic symptoms. That’s why if any of your loved ones are showing signs of an eating disorder, you need to ask help from a professional. Addressing the problem in its early stages will help your loved one recover faster.

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