According to the World Health Organization, someone takes their own life every 45 seconds.
To help prevent future tragedies, we need to know more about the factors that make some people especially vulnerable to suicidal thoughts and acting on those thoughts. One candidate is perfectionism: the tendency some people have to hold themselves to consistently impossible standards and/or feeling the need to meet or surpass the lofty expectations of others.
Although this is the most thorough examination of the links between perfectionism and suicide to date, and the data suggests that perfectionism is a relevant risk factor, it’s important to note that the research base is still lacking. There is especially a need for more longitudinal research, more research with diverse groups (most of the studies to date have involved White Western people) and more research that tests whether perfectionism adds risk even after other factors are taken into account, such as depression.
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