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Perfectionism

March 20, 2020

MANY of us believe perfectionism is a positive. You may count me in. More often than I’d like to admit, something seemingly inconsequential will cause the same feeling to rear its head again. Something as small as accidentally squashing the makeup, I was bringing my first girlfriend’s family for Christmas can tumble around in my mind for several days, accompanied by occasional voices like “How stupid!” and “You should have known better”. Falling short of a bigger goal, even when I know achieving it would be near-impossible, can temporarily flatten me. When a former agent told me that she knew I was going to write a book someday but that the particular idea I’d pitched her didn’t suit the market, I felt deflated in a gut-punching way that went beyond disappointment. The negative drowned out the positive. “You’re never going to write a book,” my internal voice said. “You’re not good enough.” That voice didn’t care that this directly contradicted what the agent actually said. And, up to now, I didn't finish my first book, yet... It's already 2020... . That’s the thing about perfectionism. It takes no prisoners. If I’ve struggled with perfectionism, I’m far from alone. The tendency starts young – and it’s becoming more common. Thomas Curran and Andrew Hill’s recent meta-analysis of rates of perfectionism from 1989 to 2016, the first study to compare perfectionism across generations, found significant increases among more recent undergraduates in the US, UK and Canada. In other words, the average college student last year was much more likely to have perfectionistic tendencies than a student in the 1990's or early 2000's. “As many as two in five kids and adolescents are perfectionists,” says Katie, who researches child development and perfectionism at West Virginia University. “We’re starting to talk about how it’s heading toward an epidemic and public health issue.” The rise in perfectionism doesn’t mean each generation is becoming more accomplished. It means we’re getting sicker, sadder and even undermining our own potential. Here is another great example: a perfectionist, French Claude Monet often destroyed his paintings in a temper while saying, ‘My life has been nothing but a failure'. Perfectionism, after all, is an ultimately self-defeating way to move through the world. It is built on an excruciating irony: making, and admitting, mistakes is a necessary part of growing and learning and being human. It also makes you better at your career and relationships and life in general. By avoiding mistakes at any cost, a perfectionist can make it harder to reach their own lofty goals. But the drawback of perfectionism isn’t just that it holds you back from being your most successful, productive self. Perfectionistic tendencies have been linked to a laundry list of clinical issues: depression and anxiety (even in children), self-harm, social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, binge eating, anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia, hoarding, dyspepsia, chronic headaches, and, most damning of all, even early mortality and suicide. “It’s something that cuts across everything, in terms of psychological problems,” says Sarah Egan, a senior research fellow at the Curtin University in Perth who specializes in perfectionism, eating disorders and anxiety. Culturally, I learned, we often see perfectionism as a positive. Even saying you have perfectionistically tendencies can come off as a coy compliment to yourself; it’s practically a stock answer to the “What’s your worst trait?” question in job interviews. (Past employers, now you know! I wasn’t just being cute). It is difficult to tell who is motivated and conscientious and who is a perfectionist. In my daily teaching in Davao , I met the student who works hard and gets a poor mark. If she/her tells herself: “I’m disappointed, but it’s okay; I’m still a good person overall,” that’s healthy. If the message is: “I’m a failure. I’m not good enough,” that’s perfectionism. That inner voice criticizes different things for different people – work, relationships, tidiness, fitness. My own tendencies may differ greatly from somebody else’s. It can take someone who knows me well to pick up on them. (When I messaged one of my friends I was writing this story, he immediately sent back a long line of laughing emojis). Perfectionists can make smooth sailing into a storm, a brief ill wind into a category-five hurricane. At the very least, they perceive it that way. And, because the ironies never end, the behaviors perfectionists adapt ultimately, actually, do make them more likely to fail. Thinking of perfectionism, makes me think of my own childhood peppered with avoiding (or starting and quitting) almost every sport there was. If I wasn’t adept at something almost from the get-go, I didn’t want to continue – especially if there was an audience watching. In fact, multiple studies have found a correlation between perfectionism and performance anxiety even in children as young as 10. Mental health problems aren’t just caused by perfectionism; some of these problems can lead to perfectionism, too. One recent study, for example, found that over a one-year period, college students who had social anxiety were more likely to become perfectionists – but not vice versa. In many ways, poorer health outcomes for perfectionists aren’t that surprising. “Perfectionists are pretty much awash with stress. Even when it’s not stressful, they’ll typically find a way to make it stressful,” says Gordon Flett, who has studied perfectionism for more than 30 years and whose assessment scale developed with Paul Hewitt is considered a gold standard. Plus, he says, if your perfectionism finds an outlet in, say, workaholism, it’s unlikely you’ll take many breaks to relax – which we now know both our bodies and brains require for healthy functioning. After all, many of us live in societies where the first question when you meet someone is what you do for a living. Where we are so literally valued for the quality and extent of our accomplishments that those achievements often correlate, directly, to our ability to pay rent or put food on the table. Where complete strangers weigh these on-paper values to determine everything from whether we can rent that flat or buy that car or receive that loan. Where we then signal our access to those resources with our appearance – these shoes, that physique – and other people weigh that, in turn, to see if we’re the right person for a job interview or dinner invitation. Fear of failure is getting magnified in other ways, too. Take social media: make a mistake today and your fear that it might be broadcast, even globally, is hardly irrational. At the same time, all of those glossy feeds reinforce unrealistic standards. In my opinion, and I am not alone with it, it’s the idea that you don’t have to be perfect to be lovable or to be loved. It’s a work in progress. And,  what I’ve noticed too, is that, each time I’m able to replace criticizing and perfecting with compassion, I feel not only less stressed, but freer. Apparently, that’s not unusual. +++ Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com.

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In Misoc: Traders warned vs hoarding

March 20, 2020

TRADE and Industry Provincial Director Tabucan of Misamis Occidental yesterday warned unscrupulous individuals and owners of business establishments against hoarding alcohol and hand sanitizers amid panic buying as a result of the declaration of health emergency due to Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19). “Everybody must be responsible in these hard times,” said Tabucan as she convened here the retailers of the cities of  Ozamiz and Oroquieta to discuss price freeze on commodities. She told retailers that there should not be any increase in the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities while the freeze is in effect, adding that the public must be reminded of their consumer rights and responsibilities especially in this emergency situation. Under Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act, the prices of basic necessities shall remain frozen at their present levels for 60 days, or until sooner lifted by the President whenever there is a declaration of a state of emergency, calamity, or other similar conditions. Basic necessities that are under the jurisdiction of the DTI include canned fish and other marine products, locally manufactured instant noodles, bottled water, bread, processed milk, coffee, candles, and laundry soap, detergent, and salt. with a report from PIA

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Photo: WHAT PRICE FREEZE?

March 20, 2020

WHAT PRICE FREEZE? Despite the reported price freeze being implemented by the government on all basic goods, some traders in Cagayan de Oro City sale their goods unreasonably high. For instance, a piece of tomatoe cost P10 each. Photo by Gerry Lee Gorit

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Enhanced Community Quarantine

March 20, 2020

Enhanced Community Quarantine: A police officer manned the national highway in Cagayan de Oro City as the government strictly implements the enhanced community quarantine as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte in line with the Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19). Photo by Gerry Lee Gorit

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FDA releases list of approved Covid-19 test kits for commercial use

March 20, 2020

THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released on Thursday a list of approved coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) test kits for commercial use. In a statement, the FDA said the kits are PCR-based reagent kits used in laboratories and not point-of-care or do-it-yourself kits. “FDA has released an initial list of approved kits with Special Certification. There are still pending applications that are due for evaluation. The list shall be regularly updated," FDA Director General Eric Domingo said. Domingo said the manufacturers of the kits have complied with the requirements as stated in the FDA Memorandum No. 2020-006 or the “Issuance of Special Certification for Imported Test Kits of Covid-19”. “FDA is hard at work in processing Covid-19 related applications during this time. We ask the public and stakeholders to be analytical of COVID-19 test kits that they may encounter as we have identified some applications which appear to be suspicious and unauthorized," he added. Domingo also urged the public to be vigilant about the entry of counterfeit products and "be watchful of those who try to take advantage of the current situation". (PNA) 

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COVID patient who died in Marawi buried in the cemetery where Marawi siege victims were laid

March 18, 2020

ILIGAN CITY ----- The patient under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 who died Tuesday morning was buried past 4pm on the same day at Maqbarra Provincial Public Cemetery in Barangay Papandayan Caniogan, Marawi City. The patient, a male on his 50s, died hours before his COVID test result arrived at Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City where he was confined with five others according to Zia Alonto Adiong, spokesperson of Lanao del Sur Task Force Stop COVID-19. The Department of Health has yet to assign a code to the patient. Adiong said the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) of Lanao del Sur led the burial of the patient at the cemetery where more than 200 victims during the Marawi siege were laid. "Leading the group of frontliners from the provincial government of Lanao del Sur, one staff from the City Health Office and two staff from the Amai Pakpak Medical Center that buried the patient, is OIC-PDRRM Officer Amer Hussein Lucman," Adiong said. "The burial was upon the immediate instruction of Governor Mamintal Bombit Alonto Adiong, Jr., the APMC, the IPHO and the City Health Office," he added. The team went through disinfection procedure when they returned to the centralized command center at the provincial capitol. The hazmats they wore were burned after the burial. Despite strict protocol of the DOH in handling cadavers of COVID patient, the first COVID patient who died in Marawi was buried under Islamic rites in strict compliance with the protocols of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos and the DOH. In Lanao del Sur, 75 persons are under monitoring as of March 16. Three more PUIs are hiding as stated in the Joint Executive Order Number 001, series of 2020 signed by Gov. Adiong and Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra. Lanao del Sur and Marawi City are unde community quarantine starting March 17.

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