Hello Brave One!

Here is this week’s spotlight on Perfectionism:

Perfectionism OCD is characterized by recurrent and persistent intrusive (unwanted) thoughts, urges or images about being perfect along with compulsive, repetitive behaviors or mental acts aimed at reducing anxiety/distress or preventing a feared outcome from happening, all of which cause distress and impairment in functioning.

PerfectionismCommon Perfectionism OCD Obsessions:

  • Excessive fear of making a mistake/feeling regret
  • Needing to understand and remember things perfectly
  • Needing to communicate perfectly
  • Needing to make the perfect/right decision
  • Excessive fear of social judgment/rejection/shame, feeling unworthy if not perfect
  • Excessive fear that one “wrong” decision could negatively affect the rest of your life
  • Needing to feel perfect/“right” in order to do something (i.e. I have to be in the right mood at the right time and in the right place to do my journal)
  • Intrusive thoughts/feelings that you did something wrong, you missed something

Common Perfectionism OCD Core Fears:

  • Being judged, rejected, disconnected, ashamed, worthless, alone
  • Loss of identity
  • Ruining your life, feeling guilt/regret forever
  • Being a bad person, unlovable

Common Perfectionism OCD Compulsions:

  • Self-criticism
  • Checking emails, texts, etc; spending excessively long periods of time composing/re-writing emails/texts ect.
  • Rigid rules about being on time (early is on time, on time is late, late is never okay)
  • Re-reading things to be sure you got all the information and didn’t miss anything
  • Ruminating about perceived mistakes (did I do/say something wrong?)
  • Avoidance of doing anything you don’t think you can do perfectly
  • Procrastination
  • Asking for clarity repeatedly
  • Excessive researching
  • Checking to see if you remember everything perfectly
  • Replaying situations that didn’t go perfectly and catastrophizing
  • Analysis paralysis/decision fatigue

**Please note: themes help us get more information out to individuals suffering with OCD, but anything can become obsessive and/or compulsive and themes can overlap. It’s also important to remember that the content of OCD is not important, it’s all the same mechanisms responding to different triggers. We recommend working with a therapist trained in ERP.

Stay Brave!

-The OCD MN Team