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Perfectionism and Depression: Is There A Link?

Depression is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the world and has been considered a world-wide epidemic (Ferrari, Yap, Scott, Einstein, & Ciarrochi, 2018). The alarming rate of individuals diagnosed with depression has prompted investigation into preventative measures. Perfectionism has been found to be a thought process underlying depression development and progression (Ferrari et al., 2018). Perfectionism has been defined “…as setting extremely high standards and accompanied by a highly critical evaluation of the self in pursuit of these standards” (Ferrari et al., 2018, p. 2). In some cases, perfectionism can be healthy as it pushes you to personally strive. However, it can become an area of concern when characterized with self-criticism and negative evaluation (Ferrari et al., 2018). Developing self-compassion has been found to moderate the link between perfectionism and depression. In other words, developing self-compassion can lower the impact of perfectionism on depression development and progression (Abdollahi, Allen, & Taheri, 2020; Ferrari et al., 2018).

Do you suffer from depression or perfectionism? Call our office today to see how we can help you overcome these issues.


Abdollahi, A., Allen, K. A., & Taheri, A. (2020). Moderating the role of self-compassion in the relationship between perfectionism and depression. Journal of Rational-Emotion & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 38, 459-471. doi: 10.1007/s10942-020-00346-3

Ferrari, M., Yap, K., Scott, N., Einstein, D. A., & Ciarrochi, J. (2018). Self-compassion moderates the perfectionism and depression link in both adolescence and adulthood. PLoS ONE, 13, 1-19. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192022