Dysfunctional Family Systems And Disordered Self Image

2437 words - 10 pages

Dysfunctional Family Systems and Disordered Self-Image

Abstract:
Disordered self-image, sense of self, and self-esteem are affected negatively by dysfunctional family systems. Maladaptive perfectionism affects mood, causes decreased self-esteem, and contributes to the development of avoidance tactics. Adolescent dysregulations includes disordered eating behaviors and/or eating disorders, anxiety, depression, body dissatisfaction, and extreme attempts at weight control; all of which can be caused by child sexual abuse, maladaptive perfectionism, parental attachment issues, and the development of alexithymia. Other dysregulations include faulty coping mechanisms, which are also affected ...view middle of the document...

It has been indicated there are two aspects of perfectionism; adaptive, or positive perfectionism, and maladaptive, or negative perfectionism. Adaptive perfectionism is related to the individual utilizing his perfectionism and perfectionist tendencies to set high standards for himself coupled with the desire to meet these standards. This adaptive perfectionism causes the individual to become motivated by his standards and the desire to meet the standards. However, maladaptive, or negative, perfectionism causes the individual to develop excessive concern for mistake making, setting unrealistically high standards and expectations for himself, and evaluating himself in an overly critical manner. The maladaptive perfectionism and perfectionist tendencies have an affect on several psychiatric related issues, including mood concerns, increased anxiety, increased negative mood, and decreased self-esteem and self-confidence (Aldea & Rice 2006).

A maladaptive perfectionist individual has developed poor coping mechanisms for himself, causing him to react emotionally to his reactions to life events as well as causing him to have difficulties with coping with a stressful situation and his emotional reaction to his overall reaction to the situation (Aldea & Rice 2006). In other words, an individual who has perfectionist tendencies also has the tendency to view himself in a very harsh manner for every supposed infraction he has seen himself making, which detracts from his sense of perfectionism, and he has great difficulty in finding self-satisfaction in anything he completes or interacts with.

The individual who has developed an adaptive perfectionist tendency has had secure parental attachments, whereas the individual who has developed negative perfectionist tendencies has had ambivalent attachments with his parents. This individual also displays an amplification of negativity, neediness, clinginess, hostility, and withdrawal from others. The individual whose parental attachments were avoidant in nature will withdraw from relationships that get too close in an effort to end his emotional reaction to the relationship, having developed very negative emotions regarding rejection, and will avoid real or potential rejection through this behavior relating to his relationships (Aldea & Rice 2006).

Indicators of dysregulation include emotional reactivity, or an excess of emotional lability because of frequent mood swings; and psychological splitting, or an inability to view others with both their good and bad aspects. Perfectionism, whether adaptive or maladaptive, is linked to the quality of the parent-child relationship (Aldea & Rice 2006).

Significant maladaptive perfectionism can be seen in an individual who has suffered child sexual abuse and has developed an eating disorder or displayed disordered eating behavior. Oftentimes, the individual identifies himself, in various ways, as ‘not good enough,’ including his view of his physical self...

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