Hands with psoriasis brace for the collapse of a house of cards

Daily Life as a Perfectionist with Psoriatic Arthritis

Last updated: July 2022

Before my psoriatic arthritis diagnosis, I used to be so many admirable things. Healthy, dependable, and even hard-working. And, believe it or not, I leaned towards perfectionist tendencies. Meaning that I often like things to be in a certain order and in a specific place.

I knew what I liked and how I wanted things to be. I’m perfectly okay with being the one to make everything just right. Even more to the point, I wanted to be the person that makes everything just the way I believe it should be. If you tend to be the same way, I have no doubt that you know exactly what that means.

A perfectionist life, interrupted.

I feel it's important to quickly mention that I'm not clinically diagnosed as a perfectionist. If you find that you are having uncontrollable perfectionist tendencies, please contact your healthcare provider. Take care of yourself and your mental health.

When it comes to calling yourself an individual with perfectionist tendencies, what can really upset your perceived perfect reality is chronic pain and a chronic illness.

You would think that personality traits wouldn’t change just because you have a long-term incurable disease. But sadly, you’d be wrong. As a perfectionist with PsA, I still want everything to be perfect, but I don’t have the energy or sometimes the skill to make that happen.

If I can’t do it perfectly, then it isn’t worth doing

For example, I know that I need a new bookshelf. However, choosing and assembling the “perfect” bookcase isn’t nearly as simple and straightforward as it once was. I don’t have the energy to go from store to store to measure and choose just the right one. And I can’t hold the darn hammer to my own liking.

Are there workarounds for this? Yes. But my psoriatic arthritis forces me to find those, and no matter what, none of them are just right enough or measure up to what I’d do myself without PsA, if I could. And beyond that, I think many of us can agree that nothing is quite the same as if we were able to do it ourselves.

Because just between you and me, if I can’t do it perfectly, then it isn’t worth doing. And as a result, there sit my books, piling up in the corner and being an eyesore to the whole room. I don’t want to start something that I know I can’t finish to the quality that I want it to be.

I find myself tied in knots, arguing with my husband, wasting my small amount of energy, and actually accomplishing nothing.

An ongoing and endless loop

Now I know that if I just got out of my own way, there would be a great deal more than actually got accomplished in my house. But like everything, that is much easier said than done.

Actually, I really wanted to include some tips or helpful advice to help get over the perfection “hurdle,” as they say. But pretty much everything I’ve tried is all just a bit trite. Mostly composed of things that are a great deal easier said than done.

Really, it all just ends up being an ongoing and endless loop, played over and over again. Mostly until my husband gets fed up with the mess and just does something about it himself. But the thing is, he doesn’t do it quite perfectly enough.

This or That

What have you found to be more helpful when coping with the emotional impact of a new PsA diagnosis?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

Which allergies do you live with? (Select all that apply)