My perfectionist family is causing my depression even worse

Posted by aliali @aliali, Fri, Aug 2 6:31am

1. I have been diagnosed with depression. I am perfectionist. My family is perfectionist ONLY WHEN TOWARDS ME! They are not perfectionists in their only lives at all as I see them. However, if I do the task with with a trivial, small mistake, they come to look at this mistake, exaggerate it and then ignore the success I made. They look at the 0.00001% mistake and ignore the 99.99999% success. As I said earlier, I am myself is a perfectionist and have unreasonable criteria but the matter is even worse when having a perfectionist family, and it is even worse when they are perfectionists only towards me!! I cannot believe that I will be criticized if I got an A in a course rather than an A+!! If I look at this family member who criticized me about getting an A, I see my grades are much much better than him! Is it reasonable?!

2. What is causing me much stressed and anxious in the matter is the following. I do my best to help my brothers. If I made a small mistake they would inform my mother. The problem is she is and elderly lady and diagnosed with a heart disease! I do my best to follow her commands and make her feel happy towards me. She is very lovely towards me. When we talk about such problems, she always realized that my brothers are unrealistic and she would say to me be patient towards them. Everything with that is ok to me. What is not ok is the irritation caused to my mother when they go and scream at her: Look what your stupid son has done!! I can feel her paining immediately and as I said earlier she is diagnosed with a heart disease. I have told them such a statement: “I am a bad person. My mistakes are unlimited and countless. But I see your kindness which will make you conceal my bad deeds, not because I deserve that, but because of your kindness “! While I do not believe in this statement, I have said it again and again. Why? Because I love my mother and want her to live in peace. What is their response to me is the following: “We will keep telling her your mistakes regardless of her heart disease”!! Note that my mistakes are not intentional because they are perfectionist! I feel pain while typing those words, anxious, exhausted and irritated! I think you can feel what I feel when you read those words. In an attempt to stop the issue from escalating, I said to my brothers: “If you think you are right and I am doing wrong, then let’s go to ask our uncle about the matter” . They immediately REJECTED and said there no problem at all to be solved!! I can see that they believe in themselves how they are doing wrong and are worried from the disclosure of this matter among the relatives! However, my mother felt irritated towards the idea and then I rejected it also . So what should I do? I think you that if someone talks too many then he may be very irritated! I am Help

Hello @aliali,

I appreciate your very honest, open post about perfectionism and the pain that it has caused you. I am not sure of your age or your situation in life, but if you live near or with your family I can see how this would make their problems with perfectionism even more difficult. Do you have other friendships that you can cultivate, outside of your family? Can you join a support group for people like yourself?

Here is an article from a magazine, Psychology Today, that deals with the problems that come out when perfectionism takes over our lives,

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/perfectionism

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@hopeful33250

Hello @aliali,

I appreciate your very honest, open post about perfectionism and the pain that it has caused you. I am not sure of your age or your situation in life, but if you live near or with your family I can see how this would make their problems with perfectionism even more difficult. Do you have other friendships that you can cultivate, outside of your family? Can you join a support group for people like yourself?

Here is an article from a magazine, Psychology Today, that deals with the problems that come out when perfectionism takes over our lives,

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/perfectionism

Jump to this post

@hopeful33250
I am 22 years, being the youngest in the family. I live with my family. Regarding joining support group, it lacks privacy. This is why I am using this chat to write openly; you do not know who I am which is a high level of privacy. I will try to talk to a close friend about the matter. I am still looking forward to reading your ideas

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@aliali
Just wondering, @aliali, and please only answer these questions as you feel comfortable doing so. Are you able to support yourself?

Have you ever read about assertiveness? It is how to express your feelings without hurting the feelings of others. If you can go to your library they might be able to suggest books on the topic. Here are some websites that discuss assertiveness,

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/assertive/art-20044644
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/assertiveness

Here are some books listed on Amazon that teach about assertiveness,
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=assertiveness&hvadid=77927890511264&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&tag=mh0b-20&ref=pd_sl_54fylwa0r5_e

Are you in a counseling situation now? It might help to be part of group therapy as well.

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@aliali I have never been a perfectionist but know people who are . It is a tough road in life . All I can tell you is you have to love who you are before you can love others or please yourself then you can please others and Jesus wasn't a doormat so you shouldn't be either . Your still young but you should start to stand up for yourself. Please you Mom but your brothers are just that listen to them then decide if that is best for you. I may be giving you the wrong advice but for me it has worked in my psyche Self care is important for your psyche.

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I am a perfectionist at heart, I internalize everything that could be critical if I don't check myself. It seems to me that you are placing a great deal of emphasis on the recognition from your family that you are living up to their expectations. I see that they do place extremely and probably overly high standards for you to reach, but it seems that you are regardless doing quite well with your own achievements. I am going to make an assumption that you are living at home by custom and not by choice, and that you do not have an option to become independent at the moment or to change your situation readily, and that is fine. Being in such a position, I myself would listen less to my family and place more worth on the external *evidence* that you are, in fact, a successful person. Yes, we may become irritated at others who fail to see us as we think we are, or actually are, but that is their issue and will probably not change much with respect to you. What is important is you see your value in yourself and for your own well-being.

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@guener

I am a perfectionist at heart, I internalize everything that could be critical if I don't check myself. It seems to me that you are placing a great deal of emphasis on the recognition from your family that you are living up to their expectations. I see that they do place extremely and probably overly high standards for you to reach, but it seems that you are regardless doing quite well with your own achievements. I am going to make an assumption that you are living at home by custom and not by choice, and that you do not have an option to become independent at the moment or to change your situation readily, and that is fine. Being in such a position, I myself would listen less to my family and place more worth on the external *evidence* that you are, in fact, a successful person. Yes, we may become irritated at others who fail to see us as we think we are, or actually are, but that is their issue and will probably not change much with respect to you. What is important is you see your value in yourself and for your own well-being.

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Hello @guener,
You have given, @aliali, some important thoughts about valuing herself rather than being intimidated by her family's opinions of her. I hope she is able to begin the process of valuing herself without being intimidated by her family's notions.

Liked by lioness, sundance6

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@lioness

@aliali I have never been a perfectionist but know people who are . It is a tough road in life . All I can tell you is you have to love who you are before you can love others or please yourself then you can please others and Jesus wasn't a doormat so you shouldn't be either . Your still young but you should start to stand up for yourself. Please you Mom but your brothers are just that listen to them then decide if that is best for you. I may be giving you the wrong advice but for me it has worked in my psyche Self care is important for your psyche.

Jump to this post

Self esteem is the only cure from the outside critical remarks. I grew up with a perfectionist narcissist father who took all of my successful moments as his, and criticized all the others. I worked on self esteem and listened to my Mom
And friends.

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Those are great examples of how you turned from perfectionism, @stsopoci. I trust that @aliali will be able to learn from your experiences. You are right when you say that developing self-esteem is the only cure from the devastation of criticism.

Liked by lioness

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@hopeful33250

@aliali
Just wondering, @aliali, and please only answer these questions as you feel comfortable doing so. Are you able to support yourself?

Have you ever read about assertiveness? It is how to express your feelings without hurting the feelings of others. If you can go to your library they might be able to suggest books on the topic. Here are some websites that discuss assertiveness,

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/assertive/art-20044644
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/assertiveness

Here are some books listed on Amazon that teach about assertiveness,
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=assertiveness&hvadid=77927890511264&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&tag=mh0b-20&ref=pd_sl_54fylwa0r5_e

Are you in a counseling situation now? It might help to be part of group therapy as well.

Jump to this post

@hopeful33250
The answer for each question is No. I will try to get more information regarding assertiveness. I feel self-help techniques are better for me than seeking the physical help.

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@hopeful33250

@aliali
Just wondering, @aliali, and please only answer these questions as you feel comfortable doing so. Are you able to support yourself?

Have you ever read about assertiveness? It is how to express your feelings without hurting the feelings of others. If you can go to your library they might be able to suggest books on the topic. Here are some websites that discuss assertiveness,

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/assertive/art-20044644
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/assertiveness

Here are some books listed on Amazon that teach about assertiveness,
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=assertiveness&hvadid=77927890511264&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&tag=mh0b-20&ref=pd_sl_54fylwa0r5_e

Are you in a counseling situation now? It might help to be part of group therapy as well.

Jump to this post

@hopeful33250, @aliali, Good morning. Those are great recommendations, Teresa. I think that perfectionism is also one of the OCD symptoms. My granddaughter spent 6 mos at Rogers Behavioral Center trying to get over the perfectionism demanded by her father. It is still a difficult hurdle to jump. He would often tear up an assignment that she had just spent several hours to complete, telling her it wasn't good enough. She told me in tears that she didn't think she could ever please her dad. The fact that he committed suicide when she was 15, left her with lots of guilt.

I also remember that I learned the techniques of Assertiveness Training at the University of Connecticut in the 1970s. I then taught my clients and held group sessions about the process. Glad that it is still around and helping folks. May you both have a free from suffering day. Chris

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Hello Chris, @artscaping, and thanks for sharing with @aliali the benefits of assertiveness training. I'm glad that it helped you and that you were able to teach it to your clients as well. I remember how much it helped me. It changed me from a mousy person who was overly concerned about what others thought of me to one who was able to stand up for myself.

Just wondering, how is your granddaughter doing now? I hope she has recovered from some of the emotional abuse she experienced. That sure is a tough way to grow up.

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@hopeful33250

Hello Chris, @artscaping, and thanks for sharing with @aliali the benefits of assertiveness training. I'm glad that it helped you and that you were able to teach it to your clients as well. I remember how much it helped me. It changed me from a mousy person who was overly concerned about what others thought of me to one who was able to stand up for myself.

Just wondering, how is your granddaughter doing now? I hope she has recovered from some of the emotional abuse she experienced. That sure is a tough way to grow up.

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Hi @hopeful33250, I so appreciate your support also. If there ever was a time for me to self-disclose it must be now.

Unfortunately, after ending Jr. High as a student of the year, being accepted to the School of Performing Arts, and serving as a liaison for OCD to the county-wide mental health staff of the school district, she wanted to heal the world and thought she could.

She moved in with a fellow who has a multiphasic personality disorder and is also manic depressive. His manic times are threatening. In order to be his caregiver, she dropped out of college, gave up her fabulous part-time job at the college helping students with disabilities, and sank down to the point where the intrusive thoughts of OCD control her life.

There, I have said it……..and now my thoughts return to you and others who may be in need of help to be emotionally self-supporting.
Have a lovely and sunny day. Chris

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@artscaping

Hi @hopeful33250, I so appreciate your support also. If there ever was a time for me to self-disclose it must be now.

Unfortunately, after ending Jr. High as a student of the year, being accepted to the School of Performing Arts, and serving as a liaison for OCD to the county-wide mental health staff of the school district, she wanted to heal the world and thought she could.

She moved in with a fellow who has a multiphasic personality disorder and is also manic depressive. His manic times are threatening. In order to be his caregiver, she dropped out of college, gave up her fabulous part-time job at the college helping students with disabilities, and sank down to the point where the intrusive thoughts of OCD control her life.

There, I have said it……..and now my thoughts return to you and others who may be in need of help to be emotionally self-supporting.
Have a lovely and sunny day. Chris

Jump to this post

@artscaping

Thank you for sharing! It takes courage to be so vulnerable. I am so sorry to hear about your granddaughter's problems. How difficult for you and the rest of her family to see her under such a heavy burden. Unfortunately, that kind of childhood does not lead to making good choices as adults.

I hope there will be another turning point in her life and she will get another chance to turn things around. Where there is life, there is hope.

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@artscaping

Hi @hopeful33250, I so appreciate your support also. If there ever was a time for me to self-disclose it must be now.

Unfortunately, after ending Jr. High as a student of the year, being accepted to the School of Performing Arts, and serving as a liaison for OCD to the county-wide mental health staff of the school district, she wanted to heal the world and thought she could.

She moved in with a fellow who has a multiphasic personality disorder and is also manic depressive. His manic times are threatening. In order to be his caregiver, she dropped out of college, gave up her fabulous part-time job at the college helping students with disabilities, and sank down to the point where the intrusive thoughts of OCD control her life.

There, I have said it……..and now my thoughts return to you and others who may be in need of help to be emotionally self-supporting.
Have a lovely and sunny day. Chris

Jump to this post

@artscaping– Chris, so sorry to hear this story of your granddaughter. We all have hopes for our kids & grandkids and your story just breaks my heart as I can tell it does yours as well. I will keep both of you in my prayers. May God fill you with His peace in the midst of this challenging story. Jim @thankful

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@artscaping I'm sorry to hear about the situation that your granddaughter has been experiencing with the influence of this person in her life. It's so vital to balance support of oneself and support of others. Does she have friends or advocates who can be non-judgmental and supportive? At times, I myself have needed advocacy but definitely not judgment or control, as it's natural for us in close emotional partnerships to feel threatened if somebody outside of our partnership asserts that they know what is best.

@aliali how are things going with your family? I'm 24, so I can understand the process of navigating respect and self-assertion in our 20s. I think it's important to pay attention to when you're feeling like your environment is toxic, and then assess how you can empower yourself to seek distance or address how you're feeling while still maintaining the respect and energy we owe our elders. Have you attempted any self-assertion since your original post?

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