teen unsatisfied with second place at national competition
teen unsatisfied with high SAT score while parents praise her
thin teen with distorted self-image sees herself as fat in the mirror

Overachieving Perfectionist

teenage girl perfectionist looks insecure and holds sign reading "me 4 class prez."


I’m Amy! Most people already know me. Student body president and team captain for both the volleyball and speech & debate teams. My life is so over the top cool! I hate that my parents are always on my case about not sleeping enough or forgetting to eat. I actually don’t need much sleep, and I’m just so busy that I don’t ever feel hungry. Besides, I wouldn’t be popular if I got fat. I have so much amazing stuff going on this year. The pressure is intense and sometimes I actually feel like I’m having a heart attack! It’s insane! Everything has to be perfect. What’s weird is that even when I win, I know I could have done better. My parents say stuff to make me feel okay if I don’t win. But they don’t get what it’s like to fail in front of the entire school. Everyone says I’m so great, but I’m not. What if they find out that I’m just a big fake? It’s really hard to be so happy all the time but my friends are going to think I’m such a loser if my life isn’t perfect. If I don’t get accepted to the best Ivy Leagues… my life is over!

With some assistance, kids similar to Amy learn to create a healthier balance in their lives by recognizing and addressing their obsessive thoughts that lead to never feeling good enough. This expanded awareness allows Amy to construct a broader perspective on life and recognize her own value regardless of achievements and trophies. She develops healthier friendships that are not based on competition and dominance. Instead, her relationships will grow out of shared mutual respect. Ultimately, Amy will develop a wiser maturity that will grant her the ability to achieve her successes and feel good about herself all while accepting and growing from life’s inevitable setbacks.

There are many unhealthy ways that perfectionism shows itself, however it almost always gets in the way of happiness. If your child can’t get past her own obsession and enjoy life, Teen Therapy Center would like to help.