The Destructiveness of Perfectionism Implications for the Treatment of Depression
The article "The Destructiveness of Perfectionism: Implications for the Treatment of Depression" used research findings along with anecdotal evidence to support their idea of a connection between individuals' problems with perfectionism and the development of depression. Certain investigations and research provide evidence that perfectionism has a role in adaptive and maladaptive functioning including disorders such as depression and suicide. Some main points the article uses to support these assertions include the stories of three prominent respected men, all with perfectionism crises that committed suicide. The article points out the relationship between these facts, and how this problem may have developed into depression, leading to the eventual suicides. Through cross-examinations of several studies to define categories of perfectionism, two specific ones were generated. These two categories, self-oriented perfectionism and socially prescribed perfectionism, further relate to two types of depression. These types, introjective (self-critical) depression and anaclitic (dependent) depression, correspond respectively to the above mentioned categories. Some antecedents of self-critical, or introjective, depression were mentioned and analyzed in this article. Some identified precursors were disrupted parent-child relations, and childhood experiences of nonapproving or inconsistently approving parents with love that is conditional upon success. The article also addresses the implications of these findings on courses of treatment for depression. It is acknowledged that patients suffering from this perfectionism-derived depression must relinquish certain aspects of their current identification and adopt new identities they develop for themselves.
The article does all of these things effectively, and one main strength of this article would be the way in which it identified, step by step, how perfectionism can actually be linked to developing depression. It showed both actual investigative evidence and detailed reports of real-life evidence of the role of intense perfectionism in suicidal behavior. However, a weakness of the article is the attempt to discuss and cover too many topics in one article, with not all of the information being necessary to the goal of the article.
This article covers topics that can be analyzed in many different ways through different approaches. In addressing the idea of parental involvement in the later development of problems with perfectionism, the article can be classified in the field of developmental psychology. It studies the factors, such as nonapproving or inconsistently approving parents, or overly controlling and critical parents, that may contribute to the development of a problem with perfectionism as an adult. This problem may then lead to depression, which is the main focus of the article, and the...