What is Perfectionism?

Perfectionism, in simple words, can be defined as an uncontrollable urge to complete a task to the highest standards possible. People who have this trait do not accept any standard which is less than perfect. They feel if something is not perfect then it is just not good enough for them. Hence, a person gets demoralised pretty easily. To cope with their feelings, it is highly likely for an individual to turn towards escapism. The struggle to avoid failure is what makes perfectionism toxic, since perfectionists are less focused on winning and more focused on not losing.

They are always stuck in an impossible reality which leads them towards procrastination. So, as a result, they are always in their head, dreaming about perfection instead of taking any action because they are scared of losing out or being mediocre. There is a big line between people who demand for perfection, such as the perfectionists and people who are striving for excellence. Perfectionism is known to be more common in younger people. This can be dangerous since the younger you are, the less you realize the fact that the world does not end when a certain door closes.

Perfectionism is manifested in three different ways:

  1. Self-oriented Perfectionism: It is imposed on your own self to act in a perfect manner no matter what you do.
  2. Other-oriented Perfectionism: This urge to be perfect is imposed on other people that surround you. This can include your children, your significant other, your friends or even your parents.
  3. Socially Prescribed Perfectionism: This is similar to “other-oriented perfectionism” as you are putting unrealistic expectations on others but it is more related to the things that are trending in society. An example would be the type of pictures someone posts on Instagram.

How does perfectionism affect your mental health?

Perfectionism has the power to not only affect our mental health but, it can also have severe effects on our physical health. According to a study conducted by the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, socially prescribed perfectionism is the most dangerous for people’s mental health as compared to its other two types.

Perfectionism leads people towards anxiety, depression and even addictions. Perfectionists tend to have exceedingly high expectations from themselves.

Just like any other mental illness, it is very hard to cope with perfectionism hence, people often turn towards escapism. Since escapism helps an individual to cope with the racing thoughts in their mind, this leads to dependence on that escapism.

How perfectionism leads to addictions and pornography addiction?

Living with voices in your head which are constantly telling you that you are not good enough can take a toll on you. No one deserves to live like that. Even cutting a toxic person out of your life can be hard sometimes. So imagine being with someone toxic that you can’t even get rid of. As a result, individuals turn towards escapism which can often include pornography or drug addiction.

These addictions provide them with a break from all the negative thoughts which drain out all their energy and exhaust them to no end. These addictions help them deal with all the self-abuse that they put themselves through each day and every moment of their lives.

As mentioned earlier, people who have the trait of perfectionism are always on the run since they never like anything unless it is perfect. Pornography and masturbation gives them a break so they treat porn addiction as an escape. They have created an endless cycle of self-feeding themselves with a progressive and destructive addiction. This is also a way for them to procrastinate as it delays the time until they have to deal with reality and go to that meeting, complete that assignment or revise for that exam. This procrastination is fuelled by their irrational fear of failure.

According to a study conducted by the psychology department at the University of Peninsula, it was found that people with perfectionism are most likely to turn to porn and become sex or porn addicts. This was discovered by conducting a general survey among the students and special emphasis was put on the students who went to the campus counsellor who were a victim of stress.

How to recover from porn addiction?

As Muslims, we all know that pornography holds a very bad image in our society and in our religion. Pornography is frowned upon in Islam due to a variety of logical reasons. It makes a person lazy and lethargic due to the chemical imbalance caused in the brain. Indulging in pornography and masturbation also has a negative impact on your self-worth and dignity.

The worst part is that once you start indulging in pornography, you cannot stop because your appetite for pleasure keeps increasing with time. It is not only addictive but, it is also progressive. To work on recovering from this addiction, you can follow the guide provided below:

THE FIRST STAGE: WE REACH OUT (ADMIT THAT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM).

The first stage to getting rid of your porn addiction is to admit that you have it. You must admit that you are using porn as an escape from your negative feelings and emotions which include perfectionism, fear, jealousy, pride, anger and all the negative thoughts caused by these traits. Acceptance is the first way to improvement. How are you going to fix something when you do not even admit that something is wrong in the first place?

THE SECOND STAGE: WE BUILD A NETWORK OF RECOVERY (THIS ADDICTION IS OVERWHELMING TO BEAR ON YOUR OWN).

Recovery cannot be done alone. It doesn’t matter how much strength or knowledge you may have; there will always be times when you need outside help. When you are going through tough times and are feeling vulnerable, having a strong support network who share the same struggles and addiction as you, can be a very effective tool in maintaining sobriety. Only other addicts will know your struggle and be able to help you when in need.
Sometimes all an addict needs is to see things from a different perspective. Many times addicts have come to me with problems and after going through it with them we realised there was no problem, the issue was in their perception. With your support network, you can bring the inside out. You can share your thoughts without being judged or looked down upon and see things from a different perspective.

THE THIRD STAGE: WE DEVELOP A DAILY ROUTINE (A NEW WAY OF LIFE)

In recovery we don’t only need abstinence from the addiction; we need a change of lifestyle. We need to reach out, build a network of recovery and develop a new way of life. A way of life that will help us stay aware of our addiction and get closer to Allah. The aim of our program is to get us closer to our Creator. We do this by keeping connected with Allah throughout the day. When you join the program, you will have access to worksheets for many of the stages; this includes a worksheet on your daily routine.

THE FOURTH STAGE: WE ACCEPT THAT WE ARE HOPELESS AND THAT ONLY ALLAH CAN CURE US (WE WIN BY SURRENDERING TO ALLAH)

•We accept we are hopeless

In addiction, there is one very important factor. That is to admit there is a problem before real recovery can begin. This stage consists of two parts; Accepting that on your own you are hopeless over this addiction and realising that only Allah can cure you. This stage is vital and one of the most important stages in the program..

• Secondly, you must admit that Allah and only Allah can take you out of this destructive habit.

Conclusion

Once, you realize that the cure to your addiction and perfectionism is found in the process of reconnecting with Allah, it will be easier for you to put your mind into recovery. The more you connect with Allah, the more you disconnect from the addiction.

3 thoughts on “Perfectionism and Porn addiction

  1. porn says:

    You are so awesome! I don’t believe I have read through a single thing like that
    before. So wonderful to discover someone with some genuine thoughts on this issue.

    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

  2. Abu Laith says:

    Once, you realize that the cure to your addiction and perfectionism is found in the process of reconnecting with Allah, it will be easier for you to put your mind into recovery. The more you connect with Allah, the more you disconnect from the addiction. Subhanallah.

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