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Learned helplessness from perfectionism.

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Learned helplessness from perfectionism.

Postby mooshi » Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:47 pm

I have OCD and ADHD. I had classical OCD since I can remember. It became stronger until I chose to start Zoloft. My classical OCD is almost cured.

I have always had OCD-like perfectionism. It is not physically crippling like my classical OCD was, but it ruins my life. Perfectionism became stronger when I had crippling classical OCD and it did not go away with SSRIs.

I am avoidant to start things because I have extreme difficulty choosing a way to do them. New things require a trial and error which I find unbearable. I have very unspecific anxiety. I get extreme anxiety when I have to do something outside my routine. It is not fear of breaking things or social anxiety. I think it comes from learned helplessness because of a lifetime of doing things and then having nagging thoughts about the obvious flaws because of OCD-like perfectionism. If there are no obvious flaws then I get a nagging thought that perhaps it can be done better or that I will find flaws later. The anxiety is not even “I will have nagging thoughts of doing this”. It is just anxiety for doing whatever. I can accept to myself that when I do something in particular it will be mediocre for my perfectionism but it does not make the anxiety go away when I do it.

I have anhedonia. I think a part is caused by the permanent effect of SSRIs and the rest is because of the same conditioning that causes my anxiety. I have tried restarting Zoloft and other antidepressants. They helps only a bit with anxiety and they give me more anhedonia which makes harder to do things.

What medication can I take for anxiety from learned helplessness which is not SSRIs or similar?

Please do not suggest talk therapy. Talking with a stranger will not solve my problem. I reflect about my problem daily and I have talked about it with wise people I trust. It gave me insight but insight does not make the anxiety nor the anhedonia go away. You know how OCD is.
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Re: Learned helplessness from perfectionism.

Postby thegentlepath » Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:47 pm

Hi mooshi,

It sounds like you have good insight into your condition & you’re very proactive about confiding in trustworthy others, which is great. I’m not sure about a drug that would treat anhedonia, but I personally have found relieve for my anxiety with an anxiolytic called Buspirone, (although I’m currently unmedicated.) Good luck.
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