Researchers are warning that record numbers of youth suffer from perfectionism – leading to soaring rates of depression and suicide, the World Economic Forum reported.
A study on the topic shows this phenomenon is unique to millennials, who are under immense pressure from always being “sifted, sorted and ranked” – in exams, job performance assessments, or on social media, where they feel compelled to curate a perfect life.
Because the modern world equates performance, status and image with usefulness, millennials feel they must outperform their peers in order to show their value.
As a result, they become perfectionists, doling out harsh self-criticism. When they don’t receive others’ approval, they experience “psychological turmoil”, researchers said.
Often, this perfectionism leads to mental illnesses like anxiety, anorexia, and suicidal thoughts.
Two researchers involved with the study, Thomas Curran and Andrew Hill, said: “Young people brood chronically about how they should behave, how they should look, or what they should own.”
They added that those who fail to keep up believe that “their inferiority reflects some personal weakness or flaw”.