Perfectionists are at a higher risk of suicide, say scientists.
Researcher Gordon Flett from York University said that there is an urgent need for looking at perfectionism with a person-centred approach as an individual and societal risk factor, when formulating clinical guidelines for suicide risk assessment and intervention, as well as public health approaches to suicide prevention.
The authors document how being exposed to relentless demands to be perfect, a concept they refer to as socially prescribed perfectionism, is linked consistently with hopelessness and suicide.
Flett added that they summarized data showing consistent links between perfectionism and hopelessness and discuss the need for an individualized approach that recognizes the heightened risk for perfectionists.
Flett continued that the people also tend to experience hopelessness, psychological pain, life stress, overgeneralization, and a form of emotional perfectionism, which restrict the willingness to disclose suicidal urges and intentions.
The article also discusses why it is essential to proactively design preventive programs tailored to key personality features with specific components to enhance resilience and reduce levels of risk among perfectionists who hide behind a mask of apparent invulnerability.
The study is published in the American Psychological Association journal.