Perfectionism has been linked to poor physical health and an increased rate of death, according to a study by Dr. Pem Fry.
The study followed 450 adults aged 65 and older for 6.5 years. The participants completed an initial questionnaire to assess their level of perfectionism and other personality traits. Participants with high perfectionism scores had a 51% increased risk of death compared to those with low scores.
However, when the researchers followed 385 patients with type 2 diabetes for the same amount of time, participants with high perfectionism scores had a 26% lower risk of death compared to those with low scores.
So does perfectionism take a toll more often when it is not "needed"? In the case of diabetes, I can see how perfectionism can help increase adherence to medical treatment. And not all "perfectionism" is bad - I'd rather have a dentist that is a perfectionist than one that is not!