OCD Perfectionism: What Is It, Impacts and More

OCD Perfectionism: What Is It, Impacts and More

Perfectionism is a trait that many of us experience in one way or another. We want to make sure we do things correctly and strive for excellence in our tasks and daily lives. But what happens when this perfectionism becomes extreme? This is known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Perfectionism, and it can have far-reaching impacts on an individual’s mental health, social life, and overall functioning. In this blog post, we will be exploring OCD Perfectionism; what it is, its impacts, and more. Keep reading to learn more about this important topic.

What is OCD Perfectionism?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that can cause significant distress and interference in daily life. People with OCD often have recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or engage in repetitive behaviors (compulsions) in an attempt to reduce anxiety or prevent something bad from happening.

Perfectionism is a common feature of OCD. Perfectionism is defined as “a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high-performance standards, accompanied by overly critical self-evaluations and feelings of disappointment when one fails to meet their unrealistic expectations”

People with OCD perfectionism are usually highly self-critical and have difficulty accepting anything less than perfect. They may spend excessive amounts of time on tasks or re-doing things until it meets their high standards. This can result in significant distress and interfere with daily life, work, and relationships.

Types of OCD Perfectionism

There are different types of OCD perfectionism, but some common features include:

All in or Nothing Thinking

One of the most common features of OCD Perfectionism is “all in or nothing” thinking. This means that a person will view tasks as either perfect or complete failures, with no room for compromise or acceptance of anything less than what they consider to be perfect.


Another feature of OCD Perfectionism is exactness. This means that a person will need to have everything in a certain order and/or adhere to specific rules or standards. For example, a person with OCD perfectionism may need to fill out paperwork in precisely the same way every time or organize their desk items in a specific order. This can be time-consuming and can lead to distress if the person feels that their standards cannot be met.

Excessive Time on Tasks

OCD Perfectionism often results in a person spending excessive amounts of time on tasks or re-doing things until it meets their high standards. This can lead to significant stress and interfere with daily life, work, and relationships. This can also cause an individual to lose sight of the bigger picture, as they may become preoccupied with ensuring that everything is perfect.

Constant Self-Criticism

People with OCD perfectionism are usually highly self-critical and have difficulty accepting anything less than perfect. They may be unable to move on from mistakes or imperfections, leading to a pattern of rumination and negative self-talk.

Evaluating Impacts of OCD Perfectionism

You need to visit a mental health professional if you are struggling with OCD Perfectionism. A mental health professional can help you assess your symptoms and develop strategies to manage them.

Impacts of OCD Perfectionism

OCD perfectionism can have a wide range of impacts on an individual’s mental health, functioning, and quality of life. Some of the most common impacts include:


People with OCD perfectionism often experience high levels of anxiety related to their inability to meet their expectations. This can lead to feelings of distress and failure that can interfere with daily activities and relationships. Some of the effects of this anxiety can include difficulty sleeping, irritability, and social withdrawal.


OCD perfectionism can also lead to feelings of depression or low self-esteem due to the constant pressure of trying to meet one’s standards. This can further interfere with daily life, work, and relationships.

Interference with Functioning

OCD Perfectionism can lead to significant interference with functioning in everyday life. People may find themselves spending too much time on tasks or re-doing things until it meets their high standards. This can result in increased stress levels and diminished productivity at work or school, as well as difficulties in interpersonal relationships.

Low Self-Esteem

Due to the difficulty in meeting their high standards, people who suffer from OCD perfectionism may develop low self-esteem as they begin to perceive themselves as inadequate or inferior. This can lead to further emotional distress and impact a person’s overall quality of life.

Constant Self-Criticism

People with OCD perfectionism may find themselves constantly self-criticizing and questioning their abilities. This can lead to feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and inadequacy that can interfere with daily life.

Feeling Overwhelmed

People with OCD perfectionism may also feel overwhelmed due to the pressure they place on themselves to meet their high standards. This can lead to feelings of burnout and further interfere with daily life, work, and relationships.

How to Overcome OCD Perfectionism?

Overcoming OCD perfectionism can be a difficult process, but some steps can be taken to help manage the condition and improve one’s quality of life. Some strategies include:

Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that helps people become more aware of their thoughts and feelings in the present moment. It can help reduce anxiety and stress related to OCD perfectionism by allowing people to recognize their thoughts without judgment and refocus on what is important. These mindfulness activities can include yoga, deep breathing, and guided imagery.

Setting Realistic Goals

It is important to set realistic expectations for yourself and your accomplishments. This can help reduce the feeling of overwhelm associated with OCD perfectionism. It is also necessary to practice self-compassion to recognize that mistakes are part of the learning process and will not define your worth or success.

Try to Let Go

Try to focus on the process rather than the outcome. This will help reduce feelings of self-criticism and allow for greater flexibility in decision-making. It can also help to establish boundaries, such as limiting time spent on a task or taking breaks when feeling overwhelmed. When faced with difficult decisions, it can be helpful to seek out the advice of a trusted friend or mentor.

Eat Well, Exercise, and Get Enough Sleep

Proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep are essential for good mental health. Eating a balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals can help regulate mood and provide energy throughout the day. Regular physical activity can also reduce stress levels as well as improve overall mental well-being. In addition, getting enough quality sleep regularly is important to ensure that the body has time to recover from the day’s activities.

Taking Care of Yourself

It is important to take care of your physical and mental health to cope with the stress associated with OCD perfectionism. Taking time for yourself, such as engaging in leisure activities or exercising, can be very beneficial. It is also important to practice self-care and engage in activities that bring joy. Additionally, it can be helpful to seek out professional help if necessary. A therapist can guide how to effectively manage OCD perfectionism symptoms and address any underlying issues.

How Can You Treat OCD Perfectionism?

There are several ways to treat OCD perfectionism. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that this is a type of OCD, and as such, should be treated with the same care and attention as any other form of OCD. That means working with a mental health professional who specializes in treating OCD.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common and effective treatment for OCD. CBT focuses on helping people change the way they think about their obsessions and compulsions. This can be done through exposure and response prevention (ERP), which involves gradually exposing yourself to the things you fear or avoid while learning to resist the urge to engage in compulsive behaviors.

Medication can also be an effective treatment for OCD, particularly when used in combination with therapy. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of medication commonly prescribed for OCD. SSRIs work by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain, which can help reduce obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.

It’s also important to remember that recovery takes time and patience. Working with a therapist or mental health professional can provide the support needed to work through OCD perfectionism in a safe, supportive environment. With the right treatment plan in place, it is possible to lead a fulfilling life free from the impact of OCD perfectionism.


In conclusion, OCD perfectionism is an intense need to reach unattainable standards of perfection and can have a significant impact on daily life. It can be very hard to cope with but there are many ways to manage it and make life easier for those who struggle with it. With the right help and support, individuals can learn how to better control their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to live a more balanced life.

For more information and guidance, please contact MantraCare. OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. If you have any queries regarding Online OCD Counseling experienced therapists at MantraCare can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session

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