Thank goodness no-one is perfect

a111You are not inadequate – you are human >  In an age when we are bombarded by images of perfect people, it is too easy to slip into a mind-set of inadequacy. This can easy lead to a downward spiral into a fear of imperfection where you lose self-confidence, are over self-conscious and wary of making contact with ‘superior ‘people. This phobia even has a name – Atelophobia.

Imperfection fear is a psychological condition that can blight lives. If this is you, then you will know only too well how you worry about making mistakes, or that your imperfections will be ridiculed. You will know that overwhelming feeling of anxiety and nervousness that makes you sick to your stomach and can even result in a fear-induced paralytic panic attack.

The first thing to understand is that you are not alone as fear of imperfection is very common. Secondly, like any unwarranted automated fear response it can be easily be treated. It is just another phobia which Tonic’s therapists are ideally trained to handle.

We find nearly all Atelophobes who seek help can trace their feelings back to specific events in their lives, such as a domineering parent or teacher who has undermined their confidence at a vulnerable age.a222

But the cause is nowhere near as important as the cure. There are plenty of anti-anxiety drugs on the market – though no specific one for imperfection phobia – and unfortunately all of them can have side effects plus mask general symptoms, making sufferers mistakenly think they are cured.

Before resorting to drugs it is much better to try psychological therapy. The NHS recommends many talking therapies, plus there is no shortage of complementary therapists offering anything from anchoring and cognitive therapy, to tapping and desensitisation treatments. Better still there is much you can do in the form of self-help, so ask your doctor to be put in touch with a local support group or, if one is not available, start on the road to recovery by discussing your condition with an empathetic friend.

Find what works best for you and if all else fails remember that Tonic’s therapists are available 24/7 to help you master your inadequacy fears. We’ll massage your ego to ensure you never again have a dizzy spell, dry mouth, muscle tension, hyperventilation, trembling, rapid heartbeat, feeling a loss of control or any feeling of impending disaster. And as Salvador Dali said … “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it!mirror

6 thoughts on “Thank goodness no-one is perfect

  1. Anna Karenina says:

    To quote her ….“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”

    • George Orwell says:

      Like it, but this is a better quote ….The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.

  2. Patrick T. Myers (therapist) says:

    You have missed a stage in the cure process – patient will power. This is THE major factor that helps a person suffering from a mental illness … and any phobia IS a mental abnormality whether we like the label or not. No-onenot even Tonic, can treat a patient until that person wants to be treated himself. If a person really wants to be normal and wants to get rid of his/her fear, only then is it possible. To accomplish this, the person should be given hope and should be assured that he can lead a normal life in which small mistakes do not matter as much as he/she thinks.

  3. Polly Rodger (therapist) says:

    I think you are too dismissive of establishing the cause as part of the healing process. There are indeed different factors that can lead to atelophobia in different people and finding the root cause is fundamental to resolving the illness. as you say, in some cases it is a painful experience in the past and in others it is a demanding childhood. Even physical problems like adrenal gland malfunction can result in this particular phobia. Whatever the cause, the discovery of it plays a major role in treatment. For the therapist to convince the sufferer that what he fears has no significance, he has first to destroy the root cause. For example, if he has a demanding past, he should be convinced that it was the situation due to which he could not accomplish the task, and it was not his fault.

    • John (Padstow) says:

      Agreed. Evaluation in which patient describes his/her feelings and describes past experiences is the essential building block for therapy. However, you should also include ‘exposure therapy’ in the list of tried and tested treatments – (the patient is exposed to the conditions causing fear, beginning with the least difficult situation. In time, the patient overcomes the latent fear).

      • allie says:

        i too use exposure therapy but re-enforce it with relaxing exercises
        either way, anything is better than drugs

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