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Full house at Michelle O’Connor’s ‘Perfectionism, Jealousy and Anxiety’ talk

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Board member of Limerick Mental Health Association, Michelle O’Connor, gave a talk about her personal experiences with perfectionism, jealousy and anxiety to a full house at Samaritans Limerick yesterday night.

Ms O’Connor, who is manager of MyMind Centre for Mental Wellbeing, read from her highly praised blog post ‘My Jealousy of Grainne: A Battle With Perfectionism’ which has been featured on numerous websites since its publication.

She described perfectionism in the form of ‘Grainne’, a flawless woman who succeeds at every aspect of life; family, friends, love, career and how she envies her perfect lifestyle.

She explained that many people consider perfectionism to be taken as a compliment but that it goes far deeper than that.

“Although people who experience the need for perfectionism are hardworking, high achievers there is a high price that comes with it. Perfectionism is strongly linked with anxiety and when a perfectionist makes a mistake or encounters a perceived failure, the anxiety and depression that accompanies that has been cited as a loaded gun,” she said.

She went on on to explain the severity of perfectionism and why it is such an important issue within mental health. “When a perfectionist does not achieve, it can create a severe sense of anxiety and depression making it an important mental health issue to discuss,” she said.

John Downey, Director of Limerick and Tipperary Samaritans, who attended the talk, discussed the importance of the Samaritans with rising numbers of callers reaching 70,000 in the last year.

The vast increase in caller numbers is due to the free to call number, 116 123, the Samaritans launched in 2014. Mr Downey highlighted that the Samaritans helpline is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year including Christmas Day, Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day.

Ms O’Connors blog post, ’My Jealousy of Grainne: A Battle With Perfectionism’, can be found here on the MyMind Centre for Wellbeing website.

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