Many articles state there is an association between perfectionism and suicide. The most interesting ones have to deal with very famous and successfull people. These include people like Vincent Foster, Alasdair Clayre, and Denny Hansen, whom all have committed suicide due to pressure of perfectionism. Perfectionism is a concept that plagues our society in many ways. It is often linked to depression, anorexia, bulimia, stress, and suicide. It is also thought to have numerous influences that effect its onset and development.

Perfectionism starts to develop in people at a very early age. When we are young children, people are constantly commending us on our accomplishments and achievements. In many people this leads to feelings of inferiority if these high-standards are not met. In men and women, perfectionism can lead to a life of unhappiness and struggle. Most women see models portrayed all over magazines, movies, and television shows as being thin and beautiful. Often, these women set unrealistic goals and expectations to mimic these models in fear of rejection from society. In extreme cases, when failure seems to be dominant, some women turn to suicide as an answer.
In our society, perfectionism seems to be second nature to many people. It plays a role in all aspects of our lives, whether it is work, relationships, or school. Many perfectionists measure their own worth in terms of accomplishments. They develop an "all or nothing" attitude tying in self-esteem to external rewards. For these people, punishment is often an answer for failure. In our society evidence exists that all people have certain limits to being perfect. The Columbine school shootings are a perfect example of how perfectionism and pressure can lead to emotional breakdown.

I feel strongly that many deaths and tragedies could be avoided if perfectionism was a recognized personality disorder. If this were true, many people might seek treatment and figure out better ways to cope with this problem. These people might stop being neurotic and obsessive in terms of they're own accomplishments. They also may be able to stop over-committing themselves to other people and situations. The first step to success is for perfetionists to realize that perfectionism is undesirable. They must realize that perfecton is simply an illusion that is unattainable. Therefore, perfectionists must challenge self-defeating thoughts and behaviors that fuel their perfectionism. Some strategies that may help are, recognizing positive situations, learning from mistakes, and setting realistic goals. Perfectionists should focus on more alternative ways of thinking that are beneficial. I feel that perfectionists need help in their daily thinking. In order for these people to benefit, they must first recognize their own perfectionist behaviors and thoughts, and learn that the only key to being "perfect" is feeling good about yourself.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Charles Ziccardi and I am currently in a Masters program in Counselig Psychology in Pennsylvania. I can be reached by email at: