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Hi,

Since about three months I am on clozapine prior to that I was on olanzapine. Clozapine has squashed my psychosis but it made me cognitively worse. My doc then added methylphenidate which I am now taking 10+10mg of every day. I'm noticing that I am becoming more and more of a perfectionist and also becoming more cognitively hungry. I recently bought 5 books on programming and started on one and then on chapter 2 I didn't understand something so I quit everything till I figured that out. I sort of managed to find the answer though not completely. It was very very difficult for me to move on to the next section. The next section I again didn't understand something. So I decided to buy another book on the subject. Now I am trying to move on even if i understand only 80% of something but I have a tendency to get stuck on things if I don't undertand them through and through. I expect myself to understand the material as well as if I myself were the author. I expect myself to understand the ramifications of each and every sentence down to the n-th degree.

I read somehwerh about this being a condition and somebody had written that this is due to dopamine serotonin imbalance and that abilify can help.

Is this a clinically treatable symptom or what?

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hi! i have OCPD, which features perfectionism that interferes with work habits. low-dose risperidone helped me stop obsessing over my work, which helped the perfectionism, but generally, it's been behavioral changes that have helped the most. setting timers helped me sometimes, in the "in 40 minutes we have to move on, even if we don't fully understand the material". granted, when my perfectionism was worst, i was a student, and hyperfocusing on certain details meant that i lost time that was supposed to be for studying a larger body of material. 

perfect is the enemy of good enough. it's not possible to understand every single thing in a subject, especially if you're learning out of a class or book. really, books are for background. when you actually start working/doing a project, that's where the real learning happens. sometimes things are hard to articulate in text, but make more sense when you do them yourself. but, if you quit at chapter two, you'll never get to the "doing" part. 

focus on your end goal (finishing a book, starting a project, etc) and view everything in between as stepping stones, not levels to unlock. you can step on every individual stone, or you can leap across a few. either way, the path is there. the stones are there for you even if you didn't step on the one before it. what matters is making it to the end.

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5 hours ago, the maze runner said:

My doc then added methylphenidate which I am now taking 10+10mg of every day. I'm noticing that I am becoming more and more of a perfectionist and also becoming more cognitively hungry. I recently bought 5 books on programming and started on one and then on chapter 2 I didn't understand something so I quit everything till I figured that out. I sort of managed to find the answer though not completely. It was very very difficult for me to move on to the next section. The next section I again didn't understand something. So I decided to buy another book on the subject. Now I am trying to move on even if i understand only 80% of something but I have a tendency to get stuck on things if I don't undertand them through and through. I expect myself to understand the material as well as if I myself were the author. I expect myself to understand the ramifications of each and every sentence down to the n-th degree.

I read somehwerh about this being a condition and somebody had written that this is due to dopamine serotonin imbalance and that abilify can help.

Is this a clinically treatable symptom or what?

I have the same hyperfocus issue (due to Ritalin), I never had this problem before. Remember, the purpose of most stimulants (other than maybe provigil or nuvigil) is to increase attention, focus and tenacity to stay on task and process cognitive material. Yet, It often decreases your ability to multitask.

I get obsessively focused on something and fixate on a specific detail.. It's often not even super relevant to the bigger picture (when studying for example). I don't have this when I don't take ritalin, so I know it's due to that. On the other hand I am more motivated and have much more endurance when doing certain mentally intense activities (reading, writing, studying). Yeah, obsessive and perfectionistic, but haven't found a good solution!

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I don't know if it's the case with you but perfectionism can often stem from a sense of insecurity and the feeling that you aren't good enough if you aren't perfect. We can become fixated on our flaws, but nobody is perfect. Your drive to understand things properly is not necessarily a bad thing, though expecting yourself to understand it all perfectly straight away might not be fair on yourself. Some books are just badly written, and sometimes ideas will make more sense after you've read on and are able to put them into some sort of context. Programming might be different but I've sometimes beaten myself up for not being able to understand something properly. Years later I've realised that it wasn't my fault that I didn't understand because that idea or theory was a load of bullshit anyway. Pobody's nerfect. God that's such a shit joke!

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