Perfectionism is an attitude or standard that demands perfection in all things. This can cause considerable distress and interference in functioning, as extremely high standards are difficult or impossible to maintain. Falling short of perfection results in feelings of failure and even worthlessness, causing self-esteem to suffer. Perfectionistic individuals often have problems with anxiety and depression, due to the pressure they constantly place upon themselves to excel.
Eating disorders are also common in perfectionists, especially in girls and women. Treatment involves helping individuals recognize the link between their symptoms of distress and the high standards they set for themselves. They are also encouraged to re-evaluate how they judge their worthiness as people and to question the assumption that they must be flawless or else others will think badly of them or even reject them.