The Guardian recently published a piece on perfectionism, which can lead to such mental health issues as depression, anxiety, and more. According to the piece, perfectionism mostly affects women. A U.S. survey in 2009 found that women are more likely than men to experience feelings of inadequacy at home and at work, and a larger proportion felt they failed to meet their own high standards.
These insecurities are well-documented in the world of work: in 2011, the Institute of Leadership and Management found half of female managers, compared with fewer than a third of the male ones, reported self-doubt in their performance.
The seeds of perfectionism start young. A NHS study found 28.2 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds have a mental health condition, with one in four women aged 16 to 24 experiencing anxiety, depression, panic disorder, phobia or obsessive compulsive disorder.
Social media has a big role to play in influencing women’s outlook on this issue. The piece quotes an 18-year-old woman from Cambridge named Miranda, who says: “I certainly feel the pressure to be perfect and it has got to the point where it’s damaging my health. Social media is the main culprit. I had to delete my Instagram account because it would actually make me cry. I am a mature person with a firm grip on reality, but I have so many peers whose lives seem so perfect and sociable that it left me feeling worthless and lonely.”
Read the full piece here.