Our dangerous quest to perfect ourselves

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"Now, research shows that all three elements of perfectionism associate with compromised mental health, including things like heightened depression, heightened anxiety and suicide ideation. But, by far, the most problematic element of perfectionism is socially prescribed perfectionism. That sense that everyone expects me to be perfect. This element of perfectionism has a large correlation with serious mental illness."

"In 1989, just nine percent of young people report clinically relevant levels of socially prescribed perfectionism. Those are levels that we might typically see in clinical populations. By 2017, that figure had doubled to 18 percent. And by 2050, projections based on the models that we tested indicate that almost one in three young people will report clinically relevant levels of socially prescribed perfectionism. Remember, this is the element of perfectionism that has the largest correlation with serious mental illness, and that's for good reason."

Watch the TED talk by Thomas Curran here.




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