Matthew 5:48

Be ye therefore bperfect, even as your cFather which is in heaven is dperfect.

Professor Kris Doty spoke last week at UVU.

Kris Doty, Asst. Prof of Psychology, Utah Valley University

“In the (Mormon and Utah) culture, people have just taken it too far,” she said during the 2013 Mental Health Symposium at UVU’s Sorensen Student Center. “They think they can’t make a mistake and so they become hyper-competitive and anxious. If you think you can make no mistake, you’re setting yourself up for failure.”

Doty conducted a  “qualitative exploratory study” by repeatedly interviewing 20 women over a one-year period. The women were diagnosed as depressed, signed up for the study and identified themselves as active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In her findings, Doty identified five major factors that she said led to depression among the study’s participants — genetics, history of abuse, family relationships, feeling judged by others and toxic perfectionism.

Doty said the church’s teachings on striving for perfection led to misinterpretations and contributed to feelings of inadequacy.  A licensed clinical social worker and director of social work field education at UVU, she said LDS women are frequently confronted by the perfect storm of unrealistic expectations, personal guilt and suppressed feelings.

Click here to see the full article at the Deseret News.  What can be done to avoid “toxic perfectionism”, while still heeding this advice from Jesus?