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OCD Perfectionism

OCD Perfectionism

OCD Perfectionism

Has someone told you ever that you always try to be better than perfect? You might have a little idea about your proclivities and nature, but it is also possible that you have no idea that you want to achieve the highest level of perfectionism. Perfectionism is not easy to deal with, but it has also been thought to play a significant role in developing the obsessive-compulsive disorder and some other forms of mental illness.

Here our main concern is OCD perfectionism. How it affects your mental health and social life. Most importantly, we will discuss how you can deal with OCD perfectionism. So, let’s get started:

OCD Perfectionism meaning

ocd perfectionism meaning

OCD perfectionism is also known as “Just Right OCD”. But what is OCD perfectionism meaning? Let me clear this for you:

“It is a subtype of OCD that includes compulsive behaviors and continuous intrusive thoughts around perfection, organization, and making everything feels just perfect. People having OCD perfectionism have frequent thoughts around symmetry and organization as a result they perform certain actions until they realize everything is perfect. They have a feeling that something is just not right.”

OCD Perfectionism anxiety

ocd perfectionism anxiety

OCD perfectionism is strongly linked with anxiety. In OCD perfectionism, a person wants everything to be perfect and makes sure he or she will show compulsive behaviour towards it. If something is not perfect or a person does not get the desired outcomes, he or she becomes anxious. It is not just that anxiety is provoked even if he or she has not started working yet. So, when something is not perfect, the individual gets angry, which indicates OCD perfectionism anxiety.

Does OCD Perfectionism mean everything has to be perfect?

does ocd mean everything has to be perfect

Does OCD Perfectionism mean everything has to be perfect? Yes, for someone who is suffering from OCD perfectionism, everything should be perfect. Such people will try their best to do everything right. Let me share some examples with you:

  • Someone who has OCD perfectionism may try to fixate his body parts; for instance, he or she will try to make sure that fingernails are of the same length, or hair is arranged perfectly, or make symmetry is just perfect. If they have a lack of symmetry in their nostrils, they will try to breathe in a certain way so that it might not look bad, or they may spend their whole time researching plastic surgery.
  • Another example of OCD perfectionism is regarding physical sensations. For instance, if someone touches your right arm, you have to touch your left arm just to even it out. You will make sure that your steps are even, or you would try not to step on cracks on the sidewalk.
  • Some people might have doubting thoughts and about their verbal or written communication. A person will try to fixate things that he has said or words he/she is using while talking to someone. He will correct himself during the speech if a word does not exactly explain what he or she was trying to say. He may also feel like all sentences must be of equal length, so he or she will rewrite them. He or she may also read his emails and texts again and again before and after sending.
  • Some people may also try to fix their surroundings in an asymmetric way; for instance, slightly tilted pictures and uneven doors can bring a lot of anxiety.

OCD Perfectionism avoidance

ocd perfectionism avoidance

People who have OCD perfectionism experience extreme anxiety, as mentioned above. It happens when things appear to be incomplete, which leads to OCD Perfectionism avoidance. They will try to avoid people or situations that they know can trigger their OCD. For instance, if they have to send a written letter or application somewhere, they will avoid writing it by hand. It is because they know they will start getting worried about the alignment of the document and handwriting, and it will take hours to complete that document. Just like that, they know texting will make them worry; every sentence must be perfect, and they know they are going to read that text again, so they think they should stop texting.

Seeking reassurance

In certain cases, those suffering from OCD perfectionism will turn to their family or friends to seek reassurance. They will ask them, “Does this painting look straight to you or not?” Or they may ask their friends about a second opinion on some email for making sure that they have written the right thing, or they try to check that other person understands what they are actually trying to say.

How do you get over OCD Perfectionism?

how do you get over ocd perfectionism

Dealing with OCD perfectionism is not easy at all. The main issue is that the person who is suffering has no idea how his or her behaviour is affecting others. He or she does not acknowledge his or her behaviour as something problematic. It is because the individual is trying to do everything in a perfect way and in their eyes that should never be a problem. Who does not want perfection? In that case, how do you get over OCD Perfectionism? The initial step is to identify OCD in yourself just as your perfectionistic inclinations. There are a couple of things that can help cope. Let’s have a look at these tips. Make sure to apply these tips if you are suffering from OCD perfectionism, and you will not regret it.


Mindfulness is a very effective strategy in order to cope with plenty of mental health problems, from anxiety to depression to major mental health disorders. It involves being less invested in our thoughts. Our continuously intrusive thoughts are the main part of the problem in OCD perfectionism. Acknowledging that we have less control over our thoughts can be extremely useful in decreasing the pain that regularly goes with intrusive thoughts. Mediation practices related to mindfulness can prove helpful in identifying and being aware of our daily emotions and thoughts.

Cognitive-behavioural techniques

Cognitive-behavioural techniques have proved very beneficial in dealing with specific negative thoughts. Strategies that are regularly utilized in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can likewise be useful. Strategies, for example, behavioural experiments and cognitive restructuring, can be useful in figuring out how to impartially assess the probability and outcomes of making minor or catastrophic mistakes.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy can likewise be a valuable tool for the careful examination of beliefs we hold about ourselves and other people. By working with an advisor, you can figure out how to recognize and change these undesirable practices and beliefs. GET SELF IMPROVEMENT COACHING NOW CLICK HERE

Work on Giving Up Control

As a component of cognitive-behavioural therapy as well as response and exposure prevention therapy, you might be told to take part in practices intended to build stress tolerance. This way, you will learn how to tolerate when you do not have control.

Examples include being kept from checking something or changing something until it is “perfect.” Although this can at first be extremely stressful, after some time, you will be confident about your ability to endure a loss of control. Consulting a specialist is an astounding method to acquire more awareness about your condition and gives the input required as you work to lessen the effect on your life.

Living With OCD Perfectionism

Living With OCD Perfectionism, as I have mentioned above, is not easy at all. It not only affects you but also those around you, including your family, friends and your lover. Sometimes your desire to make everything is so strong that you overlook those people who matter to you. So, it can have a negative impact on your relationships. There are various things that you can do to address the symptoms of OCD perfectionism. Here are some suggestions for you:

Self-help strategies

Trying self-help strategies can prove beneficial. Strategies that are used by individuals who are suffering from OCD can also be used to live with perfectionism. Exposure techniques work best, and practice will make things easier for you. For instance, leave a table uncleaned, or make a typo in your email intentionally. These little things will help in dealing with your OCD perfectionism.

Unhealthy perfectionism

Healthy perfectionism is good; for instance, you are working on a project and do everything you can to make it perfect. It is a good thing. Unhealthy perfectionism is when you are obsessed with perfection, even about small things or things that do not matter. In particular, addressing OCD perfectionism identified with the condition will probably prove more effective.

OCD Perfectionism medication

ocd perfectionism medication

OCD perfectionism can bring a lot of anxiety and depression. It is because a person is obsessed with doing everything perfectly, and we all know perfection does not exist. At some point, we do miss something. When someone with OCD perfectionism is unable to achieve the desired level of perfection, it can bring chaos in his life. Initially, therapies and some useful techniques are suggested to cope with it, but in extreme cases, it is treated with antidepressants, most commonly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Your doctor may prescribe some otherOCD perfectionism medication based on your condition. You need to know that only a professional mental health provider can prescribe you medication, avoid taking anything on your own. These medications are strong and, in some cases, produce side effects. Your doctor will assess the whole situation, ask about your medical history, and then prescribe you OCD perfectionism medication or psychotherapy or both.

OCD Perfectionism test

There are plenty of online OCD perfectionism tests that you can try. These online tests assess your answers and then suggest to you whether you have OCD perfectionism or not and if you have how severe it is. But keep in mind that these tests are not 100% accurate. Most of these tests are for fun purposes, but you can have a rough idea if you feel like you have symptoms.

Here is an example of questions that you might get asked in an online OCD perfectionism test. These tests come with different options, and you have to choose the most relatable one:

  1. You’ve done OK with a project, but it’s not perfect, and time’s running out. You:
  • Do a decent job to complete it well – though not perfectly – but on time.
  • Keep working carefully and finish the job to my original high standards, but late.
  • Do an okay – though not great – job and finish as quickly as possible.
  1. Do you ever find yourself procrastinating? If so, why?
  • I procrastinate when I want things to be so perfect I can’t make myself start.
  • I procrastinate because I find so many things that are more fun to do.
  • No, I don’t have a problem with procrastination; I’m eager to start.
  1. You’ve tried something new but found that you’re not very good at it. You:
  • …give up. I don’t enjoy doing things I’m bad at, and I’m great at a lot already.
  • …would probably keep at it. I may never be great, but I can be good.
  • …give up just because it seems like a lot of effort. I like things easy.
  1. When you look at your work, what do you tend to notice most?
  • I don’t really pay much attention to my work once I’ve completed it.
  • I notice the overall job, which is usually pretty spectacular, and focus on what’s great about what I’ve done.
  • The mistakes I’ve made and the little imperfections, which I hate.
  1. When you look at the work of others, what do you tend to notice most?
  • I notice the mistakes they’ve made and the little imperfections.
  • I notice the overall job they’ve done and tend to focus on the high points.
  • I don’t really pay much attention to others’ work.
  1. When you look at your appearance, what do you tend to notice the most?
  • I notice what I would like to change about myself.
  • I don’t really pay much attention to my appearance.
  • I notice what I like about myself.
  1. Do people tell you you’re difficult to please?
  • No, I don’t expect much.
  • Sometimes, but I do draw out the best in people and make them feel good.
  • Yes, unfortunately, people tend to think my expectations of them are too high or too rigid.
  1. When striving toward a goal, what do you tend to focus on or enjoy the most?
  • Honestly, I don’t strive that much; I mostly just want to be done.
  • I focus on the process as much as the results; I enjoy the journey.
  • I’m focused on the results; I have my eye on the prize.
  1. What are your feelings toward failure?
  • I hate failure, so I avoid it at all costs and beat myself up over it.
  • I hate failure but can find value in failure as a learning experience.
  • I don’t overthink about it.
  1. How does constructive criticism feel to you?
  • I value feedback, even when it’s not positive; it helps me improve.
  • Normally, criticism feels like an attack to me.
  • I don’t pay too much attention to it.

Only a doctor can accurately assess your situation. He will ask you some questions about your symptoms, for instance:

  • What symptoms are you experiencing?
  • For how long you are experiencing these symptoms?’
  • He will ask about your past or childhood traumas.
  • He will also ask about your medical history.

And some other questions similar to the ones above, make sure to be honest with your doctor as only in that case he or she can make the right diagnosis and design the right treatment strategy for you.

OCD Perfectionism stories

ocd perfectionism stories

Here are some OCD perfectionism stories for you so that you understand you are not alone and there are other people struggling with the same issues:

“When I say being a perfectionist it’s not just me wanting something to be good. It has to be good otherwise it makes me anxious. I feel like I have to get it “right”. The problem is it can’t ever be right because no matter how many times I do it it’s never good enough. I have trouble with hobbies because I get obsessive and lose focus in other areas of my life. I’ve struggled with depression for a while now and I think it’s because of my perfectionism. It’s paralyzed me to the point where I’m second guessing everything in my life. I like to compare my brain to a broken record at times just looping thoughts over and over.I feel stupid bringing it up because I feel like one of those omg I’m so ocd people. It causes me a lot of stress in my life when I can’t just let things go.”

“Writing has always sucked. I write 2 or 3 sentences then end up reading from the top of my paper. Also I make music and I’ve sat there listening to a certain section on loop for at least 15 minutes trying to “fix” it. And now a comment that should have taken 2 minutes to write has taken 10.”

“My OCD, which is thankfully mild, is entirely based around a fear of failure. Basically, any time I do something and it’s not as good as I’d hoped (i.e. flawless or nearly flawless), I get extreme anxiety and convince myself I’m a failure, which drives me to carry out my compulsions to lessen the anxiety. I also have what I call “anxiety attacks” where I feel like I should be working on something important and can’t stop worrying about trivial deadlines that sometimes don’t even exist, which again drives me to carry out compulsions. But it’s not really like your typical obsession, as it usually only causes trouble when I actually fall short, or believe I’ve fallen short. Gets really annoying, though, and thankfully I’m starting to get it under control.”

“Yeah, kinda. I start things, but I often end up procrastinating because just thinking about how I have to do it causes me anxiety, so I avoid it until the last minute. I’m afraid I’m not going to get it done on time, or it’s not going to be good. It gets really bad if I actually fall short, like if I wanted an A on a test and got a B, that triggers compulsions.”

“I used to and it was bad. I actually started going to Al-Anon, because there was an alcoholic close to me, and I wanted to get some support…and they have some great viewpoints on perfectionists. In short, they said always needing to be/do things perfect is actually a negative thing because it causes stress/worry/feelings of sub-ordinance, etc… When you realize that, it’s almost like a new sense of freedom.”

“I’ve got diagnosed OCD and I’m a pathological perfectionist (especially when it comes to my studies). How do I know if the perfectionism is part of my OCD or if it’s “just” very unhealthy perfectionism? Right now I’m sitting here hating myself and thinking that I don’t deserve to live because I failed my practical lab exam earlier today (which I need to retake on Friday next week). One of the reasons I failed is because I wrote down the incorrect numbers on one assignment and now I feel like I have to make sure that never happens again. Ever. I’m incredibly afraid of failure and making mistakes and I’m so anxious about this whole thing that I don’t know what to do right now.”

These were some OCD perfectionism stories; now let’s focus on some suggestions:

“Hello OP. I have something very similar and it’s mostly related to work. I can’t leave office with a half finished task. I want my presentations to be perfect. I reread and format my mails just right before I hit send. I have learnt to stop being a perfectionist. It takes time and there are days where I fell exhausted with all the mental strain of controlling my OCD. For me medication and having a loving family in whom I can confide my mental state has helped. Do take medications it helps.”

“Its hard to differentiate between the two. I mean obviously OCD isn’t necessarily perfectionism and being a perfectionist doesn’t mean you have OCD but small symptoms are hard to tell which disorder its originating from. I wouldn’t worry about that in particular but focus on skills you can acquire to overcome it, or subdue it. I have OCD and sometimes I can have very annoying and frustrating perfectionist tics but I think its easiest to try to understand that its not detrimental to your life and there ways to solve it.”


OCD Perfectionism is something that can make your social life difficult. The first thing that you need to do is to acknowledge that there is an issue. Once you accept the problem moving towards betterment is easy. Only a professional mental health provider understands both OCD and perfectionism, so the professional can help you deal with OCD perfectionism. Talk to a doctor if you feel like you have symptoms, and managing these symptoms is not easy for you.

So, this was all about OCD Perfectionism; I have tried my best to share useful information with you hope you enjoyed it. SELF IMPROVEMENT COACHING.

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