Women's Tips

Excellent student syndrome: causes, signs, diagnosis, treatment - how to get rid


The best student of the class, the winner of Olympiads and various competitions, this child has time to literally everything, and, therefore, is a real pride of both teachers and parents, but is everything so simple? You must be surprised, but being an excellent or an excellent student is not always good, and sometimes even destructive for the child himself, but how can this be? What is wrong with striving to be an excellent student, the best in everything?

The main problem lies in the fact that it is impossible to be perfect in everything, the simultaneous execution of several cases, no matter how much we want, still leads to a decrease in productivity, a person gradually exhales, invented ideals tear him to pieces, and too high standards cause panic attacks fear and social instability.

Everyone has their own ideals

Such people who strive to do everything perfectly, and they even do it quite well for a while, are called perfectionists, and their trait is perfectionism.

Interestingly, this is not the innate quality of a person, it is instilled from childhood or adolescence, most often, by the closest people, namely, by parents. How do they become perfectionists?

Often, it all starts from school and first assessments, as confirmation of progress, you can recognize the excellent student’s syndrome in your child already in elementary school, and since at this age it’s girls who are the most diligent and diligent, they have more time, and therefore more fair talk about the excellent student syndrome.

Each child, and, subsequently, an adult, in his head draws his own notion of the world and ideals, which, for some reason, should be achieved. Moreover, each person has his own personal idea of ​​himself, as a person, his ideal “I”.

The main problem of perfectionists is that they too keenly feel the difference between the “I” ideal and the “I” real, which do not correspond to each other, which means that an internal conflict arises.

The result of such internal conflicts is disharmony and an imbalance within oneself, which translates into problems at work, difficulties in personal life, and even nervous health problems. To understand how to get rid of the syndrome of excellence, you need to understand the causes of its occurrence.

All life is a complete exam.

From a very young age, a child is firmly attached to his family, he requires care and attention, love and affection, but some, especially authoritarian parents, for some reason, build their relationship with the child in such a way that he still has to earn all these benefits.

Since childhood, they impose on the child the opinion that praise, affectionate word and attention from parents can be obtained only after a “good mark”, “winning the contest” and so on. A kind of conditional love, in which the child over the years develops the opinion that only his high successes can draw the attention of parents in his direction.

And if in elementary school it is good at learning and everything is in time - quite simple, then, over time, the system will become more complicated, which means that the child gradually begins to strive for the incomprehensible.

What hurts such upbringing? Over time, the constantly dominant parental voice turns into its own, children begin to put forward too high demands on themselves, which are not always able to fulfill.

The children's rule that has been deposited in the head from the earliest years, “do it perfectly well and only after that get praise,” oddly enough, can play a cruel joke in adulthood.

For example, the former high school student, trying to follow the stereotype of an ideal wife, tries to do everything in the world: build a career, do everything in housekeeping (tasty meals, cleanliness and order), as well as not forgetting the children and paying attention to her beloved husband. The problem is that not every partner will assess this as something extraordinary, but rather will take it for granted, as a result of which the ground for conflict arises.

The situation is aggravated when all the efforts for the good of the family (in work, in school) do not bring any emotional satisfaction, and are performed only to follow artificial stereotypes.

A child who, even as a child, was not given to understand that he was loved not at all for his fives and victories, but just so, inevitably faced the problem of low self-esteem. As for an adult, who has cultivated such complexes in himself, it is hard to believe that he can be loved just like that, for his personal qualities and individuality, and not for the perfect soup or high salary.

The main problem perfectionists lies not only in the invalidity of the parents, but also in the inability to recognize their own merits. People with the syndrome of excellence, trying to do any work on the "5", can not get rid of doubts about the quality of the work performed.

And so all my life, which turns into a constant race for non-existent realities. Adults who constantly live with the motto “I can do anything, because to be the best is the goal of all life,” often come to loneliness. They lose friends, because finding people who would meet the high demands of a perfectionist is not so easy, they cannot build a personal life, as they require too much from their partner.

And the constant desire to do everything, even the most insignificant, only perfectly, leads to the inability to relax and enjoy life.

Nerve overvoltages and frustrations become constant companions of such women and men, still, because the ideal results are not so easy to always keep up to date, each time the level of complexity increases. Did you dream of such a life?

How to get rid of a syndrome excellent?

Experts offer several psychological techniques that help both adults and children. Remember, if your child is confronted with something similar, then only you can help him, because his future reactions to his own successes and failures will depend on your love and support.

  • Learn how to divide cases according to their degree of importance. Tomorrow is an important exam? Prepare for it carefully, but minor matters such as cleaning, going to the grocery store and even preparing for a less important subject can be postponed the next time. And it is absolutely not scary if you get 4 on it! Learn to excrete what is important in your life.
  • Do not forget to relax. Without rest in life, nowhere, so do not forget to set aside adequate time for sleep, as well as to communicate with friends, do not forget about the time during which you will not think about things and concerns.
  • Praise yourself. And not for good grades or for a brilliantly executed annual report, but for their merits, which have nothing to do with success.
  • Believe that relationships with loved ones can be maintained even if you have failed to meet their expectations, although sometimes this is a very difficult task, especially for children and adolescents.

Finally, I would like to note that in harmonious families, where a good-natured and respectful atmosphere is observed, and the voice of every family member is necessarily heeded, such problems never arise.

The causes of the syndrome excellent

The causes of the disease go deep into the childhood of a person, so it becomes more difficult to find out what did affect the emergence of the syndrome. Most often the disease occurs due to psychological trauma of the child, the causes of which can be:

  • Indifference from adults,
  • Frequent conflicts with parents
  • The absence of any family member
  • Self-doubt or loneliness in a child.

Over time, all this can drastically change the personality of a person. The syndrome is especially dangerous in that both an adult and a child may experience mental and emotional exhaustion at any time. People in this state are not able to suffer defeat or even cope with ordinary everyday difficulties. They become withdrawn and insecure, there is a strong depression.

Symptoms of the disease

The most prominent manifestation of the syndrome is the acute human experience in the event of the slightest failure. Even the lack of praise can be the cause of internal tragedy.

Since the main goal of a child with the syndrome is not to gain new knowledge, but to conquer the highest reward, children are often dependent on other people's opinions and suffer from unstable self-esteem. They are also jealous of the success of their classmates and friends. Sick children are ready to donate their favorite entertainment or walk with best friends for the sake of excellence in school.

Honors syndrome often occurs when, as a child, they did not explain to the child that he was loved, regardless of grades, titles, or awards. It is because of this that an adult can, throughout their entire life, think that they are communicating with him because of some benefit.

At an older age, the syndrome is usually manifested by a group of several symptoms, which include:

  1. Excessive liability for any situation
  2. Excessive requirements for friends and family,
  3. Inability to prioritize,
  4. The desire to be the best in any field,
  5. Inability to lose.

Portrait of a pupil: alarming symptoms

Excellent student syndrome can be seen already in childhood. The child appears:

  • The desire to be the first in any way, always and in everything. Sometimes a baby may even stipulate his friend, for example, in order to get a better grade.
  • Jealous attitude to the success of other children. A child is genuinely happy when his classmate fails. The kid does everything to ensure that this situation is repeated as often as possible.
  • Emotional imbalance. A patient with the syndrome of an excellent student constantly needs praise to his merits. If the efforts of the child were ignored by adults, hysterics happen with shouts and tears.
  • Unstable self-esteem. Children with the syndrome are often overly self-confident, but if their actions are criticized at least once, their self-esteem will drop sharply.
  • Inability to overcome obstacles. This can be noticed even while the child is in school. For example, the kid ideally prepared the teacher's assignment at home, but at school on the control he suddenly gets a deuce. And this is due to the fact that the child made a small blot and decided that it was impossible to correct the situation.

All these symptoms can be noticed in adulthood. A person is constantly striving to be perfect in everything: appearance, character, career. But often all these attempts remain just desires.

Diagnosis of the syndrome

In order to establish or eliminate the syndrome of excellence, one should first seek the advice of a psychiatrist. It is he who will not only conduct an oral survey of the patient, but also appoint further studies. Typically, the patient is recommended differential diagnosis of the disease from the usual desire to self-actualize. For this, experts use a special perfectionism test, which includes 45 or 24 questions. When responding to test items, patient integrity is particularly important. In accordance with the points scored and solved the question of the psychological state of the patient.

Is it worth treating ailment?

Do I need to treat illness? Can it worsen the quality of life? What is wrong with a child or an adult trying to achieve goals and make their lives better? This is what usually worries patients with the syndrome of excellent. It is definitely difficult to answer the questions, but it’s safe to say that pathology can undermine a person’s emotional state and lead to severe mental disorders.

The disease becomes dangerous even in everyday life. For example, women with honors syndrome often have problems in their personal lives. Often they are left alone, as in the future the husband is looking only for the ideal. Daily quibbles and scandals will also plague anyone who will claim this place.

If you do not pay due attention to the first manifestations of the disease in childhood, then in adulthood you can expect the following problems:

  1. The inability to enjoy any process, since only its result will be of interest,
  2. Looping on every little thing that will lead to an inability to think abstractly,
  3. The emergence of the habit of "memorization" that hinders the development of creative thinking,
  4. The lack of friends and loved ones due to the difficult nature,
  5. The desire to be always first, even through a dishonest fight,
  6. Emotional instability, irritability and apathy.

The paradox of the disease is that because of the strong desire to be first in everything, a person painfully perceives all his mistakes, gives up and sinks into depression.

Treatment of the syndrome excellent student

Since often the cause of the emergence and development of the syndrome lies in the child’s environment, in the first place, it is necessary to carry out psychological work with the family. Parents should not try to compensate for their own failures with the child’s victories; they should regularly show the child that the family really needs him, that he is loved and appreciated.

If the child brought a bad grade from school, he should not be scolded or punished. First you should talk to the baby and find out his feelings. One can only think about the correctness of upbringing if he doesn’t care and he doesn’t see anything terrible in a bad evaluation.

If the child begins to show the first signs of the syndrome excellent student, experts advise:

  • More time to spend with the baby: hug and kiss him for no reason,
  • To be interested in what happens in his life,
  • Support and assist with advice when necessary.
  • Do not compare the baby with other children,
  • Offer to take a break from classes or go out with friends when he devotes too much time to study.

If the implementation of these tips does not bring a noticeable improvement, you should consult a qualified and experienced specialist for advice.

Methods of dealing with the pathology for adults

In this case, the most important condition for successful therapy is timely treatment. First you need to establish the true cause of the appearance of the syndrome, and then learn how to relax and distract from the pressing problems. Also, experts advise:

  1. To treat events with optimism, to look for positive moments in situations.
  2. Find yourself a favorite activity, sign up in a fitness room or do extreme sports. A person should be distracted from daily worries and deal with their fears. All this helps to become stronger and harder.
  3. At least once a little late for work. Thus, the boss will understand that a person is not a machine that cannot be mistaken.
  4. Experiment with your style. It helps to feel freedom, reboot morally and attract new friends.
  5. Do not take criticism of others to heart. Most often, on the contrary, it helps a person to understand his mistakes and not to make them in the future.
  6. Learn to forgive loved ones and enemies.
  7. Stay in any situation person.

Psychology tips

Many doctors and scientists believe that the syndrome of excellence occurs in children due to the lack of love and attention in the family. Getting the highest scores, the child tries to attract the attention of adults and earn praise. Therefore, it is very important for parents to regularly show their love and care to the baby.

If a child spends all his free time on lessons and school assignments, he should be invited to take a walk, play or invite friends to visit. Also, experts advise to write the kid on creative or sports clubs. At the same time, it is very important to teach a child to show interest not only in learning, but also in the whole surrounding world.


The best prevention of this disease is its absence. Already at the first symptoms of the disease, parents should consult with a specialist and begin appropriate and adequate treatment. First of all, you should listen to yourself, evaluate your behavior and communication with the child, and also think about the reasons that could lead to the development of the syndrome honors student.

Patients need to understand that it is not necessary to be a permanent leader. Life is beautiful and without absolute victories in all endeavors. We need to learn to prioritize and accept the fact that there are people who can do something better. And this is completely normal.

The prognosis directly depends on the degree of development of the disease. If the syndrome does not go into a crazy race for leadership and manic self-improvement in all areas, then in most cases the illness even gives strength for large-scale achievements. It is known that most famous people are perfectionists.

But, if the syndrome goes over all faces and turns into a serious problem, the forecast becomes extremely unfavorable. This form of the disease can destroy life. Человек перестает замечать все то хорошее, что с ним происходит. Он ощущает себя беспомощным и никому не нужным. Чаще всего такие люди погружаются в глубокую и затяжную депрессию, а после — заканчивают жизнь самоубийством.

Почему с этим нужно бороться?

Remember the famous description of the model girl - "Komsomol, student, athlete, and finally, just beautiful"? It would seem that the bad thing is that a person tries to achieve success in everything. Nothing. If this desire has a certain framework. If this is not an end in itself and not dependent on public opinion.

The syndrome of excellence in women is dangerous emotional exhaustion. The slightest discrepancy to the image leads to severe emotional distress and nervous breakdowns. Even such trifles as torn pantyhose or a disgruntled look of the boss can spoil the mood for the whole day.

For women, the syndrome is also dangerous because it risks being alone. A girl striving for the ideal will look for him in the future bridegroom. She will chill everyone who will claim this honorable place.

Terrible, and the boss, who has the syndrome excellent student. Such a person is exhausting the work and himself, and his subordinates, does not know how to build partnerships. Although such people, despite their overtime, rarely make progress in their careers. The habit of giving up before serious obstacles does not allow us to complete the project entrusted to us.

The tendency to the syndrome manifests itself in childhood. If you do not get rid of neurosis in time, the thirst for good ratings turns into serious problems in the future:

  • the inability to enjoy the work process itself, since all thoughts are occupied with results,
  • there is a habit of “memorizing” and not turning on creative thinking,
  • looping on trifles and inability to think abstractly,
  • the desire to eliminate all rivals, even by dishonest ways,
  • lack of friends due to the complex nature
  • emotional instability.

The paradox of the syndrome is that a person suffers defeat precisely because of too strong a desire to win. He is very sensitive to the slightest mistake, lowers his hands and plunges into depression.

What to do: tips of psychologists

To help yourself or your child, you first need to understand the causes of neurosis. In children, the syndrome of the excellent student most often arises due to lack of attention or love from the parents. With good grades, the child subconsciously tries to earn extra praise.

Seeing the student's painful reaction to his grades, try to show your love openly:

  • as often as possible hug a child just like that, and not for something,
  • smile at him and soothingly stroke his hair when he tells you something excited,
  • speak aloud the words of love and support
  • gently remind you that you love him already because you have it in this world
  • spend free time together, do not push aside, referring to employment if he needs your help and advice.

If you notice that the student is spending too much time on the lessons, invite him to go for a walk and invite friends to visit. The child must be distracted from constant thoughts about learning:

  • write it down for sports or art clubs,
  • go out with your family for picnics,
  • play board games with him.

It is very important to remind both myself and the child that the time spent with the family is wonderful in itself. Even if you are just watching a movie on TV or lying in the grass, looking at the clouds. Teach your child to show interest in the world and to love what he already has.

For adults who have noticed the syndrome of excellence (or an excellent student), psychologists recommend from time to time to specifically break habits or a stable lifestyle in order to get rid of the fear of failure. For example:

  1. Be late for work and admit to the chief that you overslept. Allow yourself (and at the same time others) to remind you that you are a living person, and not a mechanical machine that has no right to make mistakes.
  2. Sign up for courses or in the sports section, where you would hardly ever want to go, considering this exercise a waste of time. For example, oratory or climbing. See how many mistakes people make when trying to talk beautifully or scrambling along a sheer wall. And because they do not cry! On the contrary, they are treated with humor, they make fun of each other and just have fun.
  3. Conduct an experiment with clothes. If you are used to always wear a suit and tie, wear old, faded jeans and a rumpled sweater. Walk around the city and make sure that no one turns around after you and does not show a finger. So many people walk around. They feel quite comfortable and do not think about the impression they make. Allow yourself and sometimes relax and feel the inner freedom.

Do not forget to praise yourself for any, even the smallest victories, and forgive yourself any, even the biggest mistakes in your opinion.

Ambiguous concept

This concept is one of the “popular” names for the term pathological forms of perfectionism. This means that for a person who suffers from them, only the absolute and ideal result of any action is acceptable. That is, no “random” and “yes, okay”, no shortcomings, and everything is structured, brought to perfection and executed “perfectly well”. And so in all aspects of life. Excellence syndrome in adults psychology has been studying for a long time and with passion. There is a lot of research and work on this issue, so the awareness of people in this issue is quite high. However, unfortunately, such "honors" does not become less.

A pupil's syndrome can manifest itself in different ways, and sometimes it can be taken for him the basic desire of a person to do something good or right. But there are still “bells” that you should pay attention to in time to help and support a loved one, child or friend. By the way, in both children and adults, the symptoms of this psychological illness are expressed in the same way.

  1. The desire to bring everything to the ideal: all the toys are folded “under the ruler”, the diary is always only the “five”, in the kitchen each pan is brought to shine, there is no dust particles in the car, shoes are polished, flowers are always watered, etc. "nearly"! Everything must be brought to perfection.
  2. A person reacts painfully to any criticism. Public opinion and evaluation for the work done is above all else in life. Any negative assessment (“two” or even “four” for the control, reprimand of a strict boss, remark of a passer in the street, etc.) can simply plunge such a person into a deep depression, cause a very strong psychological breakdown or at least sadden and spoil mood is very long.
  3. Crazy jealousy of praises addressed to other people. A perfectionist can easily go into hysterics just because the teacher today didn’t praise him alone or a prize for a successful project given to several employees at the same time. "Excellent" always must be only the best of the best.
  4. Self-sacrifice is the second “me” of such people. No hardship will stop them on their way to the ideal. They can sacrifice themselves, their family, interests, leisure, entertainment, in general, absolutely everything, for the sake of performing any task perfectly. As soon as the goal is reached, they switch to the next one, and then new victims will be used.
  5. Constant comparison of yourself with others: no one should be better, no mistakes and mistakes, like others. If an excellent student encounters an even more ideal person on his life path, then two outcomes are likely. Either “impeccable” will be an ideal for the perfectionist to follow, or such a meeting will lead to a deep depression with serious psychological trauma and consequences.

Dire consequences

What is dangerous pathological perfectionism? Excellence syndrome in adult women and men, as well as in children, manifests itself both in psychological problems (limited social circle, frequent nervous conditions, depression), and in physical ailments (disruption of the heart and nervous systems, blood pressure jumps, nervous and physical depletion of the body).

Understanding the symptoms, causes and consequences, you can seek help from a psychologist. If there is no such possibility or desire, then, in principle, everyone can develop their own way of dealing with this ailment using the following tips.

Tip 1: Love and attention

From birth, giving the child to understand that love is an unconditional concept. Even if a “two” was drawn in the diary or the director dumped the parents in school for the bad behavior of the student, mom and dad will still love. Yes, they will be upset, an educational conversation will follow and, perhaps, even they will apply some sort of permissible punishment, but they will be whole-hearted with their child. And no physical punishment, excessive deprivation or alienation!

Tip 2: Genius is not the most important thing

In order not to cultivate the syndrome of excellence in a child, you should not “sculpt” a genius or a winner in all contests, competitions and competitions. Let the child do what he is interested in and perform tasks that are within his power. Let not an excellent student, not a prize-winner in ballroom dancing, not a winner of the contest of the best sculptures made of clay, etc., but his beloved, dear and mentally healthy!

Tip 3: Variety and improvisation

If a schoolboy spends an excessive amount of time studying, sits and reads without rest and walks, tries to be the best student for the whole school, then this is, of course, good. But, as you know, "a lot of good is not good either." So that such a diligent kid doesn’t earn himself a “excellent student syndrome” along with fives, certificates and medals, parents need to stop being touched by this and distract the child to something else, to show that there is much that is not perfect in the world, but so interesting. For example, to start a tradition in the evening to walk the dog together and chat about all sorts of different things, and not use the same route, but improvise every time.

Or, quite unexpectedly, in spite of a mountain of unwashed dishes or unfinished work, get together and go with the whole family to nature to play badminton.

Tip 1: Small changes

Allow yourself at least some negligence. For a start, you can make a hairstyle that does not imply a perfect styling. Then choose a few things that will not look like everything else in the wardrobe. You can also try to go to bed without washing the dishes, go to work, without taking with you a bag of trash that should be thrown away, hang towels in the bathroom not in their places. At first it will be difficult, but then the change of such trifles will make it clear and feel that the world will not collapse, if not everything in it will be perfect and flawless.

Tip 2: Delegation of Authority

A good way to get rid of the excellent syndrome is to allow someone to do something for themselves. For example, to allow the husband to go to the store himself and buy any products that he chooses, and not those that are on the strict list. Or allow a colleague to bring the project to the end, without constant monitoring and verification. Of course, this will cause a whole wave of experiences, but it will be difficult only the first few times. Then the same principle will work - the world is not perfect, but despite this, it still holds, and the people in it are happy.

Tip 3: The process is important, not the result

And, finally, the excellence syndrome in adults can be overcome by learning to enjoy not the result that will be obtained at the end of the path, but every step and moment. After all, not only, for example, the customer's delight in seeing the result of the company's work, but also every minute spent at work, all the smiles of colleagues, all the pleasant memories and vivid trifles are important.

It is difficult to overcome the syndrome of excellent student, but still it is quite real. The main thing is not to try to do it "perfectly well"!

The content of the article

Most parents dream of their child becoming the best in everything, including in school. In order to achieve this, they have strict requirements for children, and as a confirmation of the success of children, they want to see good marks in their diaries.

If a child is drawn to knowledge, shows obedience, does not shy away from lessons and brings home excellent grades, that is good. Among such children it is often possible to meet those who are prone to "excellent syndrome". This is perceived by parents as a gift, and not as a problem.

Symptoms of the syndrome excellent child:

  • the child takes painfully any criticism and comments
  • a child is jealous when others get excellent marks or praise,
  • a child easily sacrifices for success in school entertainment, hobbies or socializing with friends,
  • in case of failure in school, the child appears apathy. He may withdraw and become depressed,
  • the child is unstable self-esteem. It is worth praising him, as she is too high, should criticize - decreases,
  • if they forget to praise the child, he is very upset and may cry,
  • in order to get a great mark, a child can cheat or cheat,
  • The main motive in learning for a child is at all costs to get an excellent grade, to cause approval and admiration of others.

Problems that can cause a syndrome student

For children with an excellent student complex, learning is the meaning of life, and evaluation is an indicator of "correctness." They strive not for a specific result, but for doing everything in accordance with a certain standard, as they are sure that they will be good only if they do everything perfectly. This gives rise to the inability to concentrate on the main thing. For example, when performing any work, the main energy and time is spent not on the performance of the assigned task, but on the correctness of the performance of secondary trifles.

Because of the great fear of making a mistake, the school honors student will not dare to get down to business if he is not 100% sure that he will be able to cope with him perfectly. Consequently, in the future the range of its possibilities is significantly narrowed. People who have experience of failures, easier and faster to cope with life difficulties than those who could not get it.

Excellent students have problems in communicating with peers, they rarely have close friends. This is due to the fact that such children place high demands not only on themselves, but also on others. Lack of friends may be due to employment or too high self-esteem. All this will affect adulthood. Lack of communication in childhood can cause problems with communication skills and relationships with the opposite sex.

Excellent student syndrome in adults can manifest itself as a constant dissatisfaction with one's achievements, life, work, and others. Such people are sensitive to criticism and their own failures, after which they lower their hands and fall into a deep depression.

Excellent student syndrome

The name of the syndrome is explained by the debut age - the symptoms begin to appear in the early school years, when studying becomes the main activity for self-realization, the self-expression of children seeking approval, the praise of adults. Excellent student syndrome is more common among girls - they are more characteristic orientation on external evaluation, combined with accuracy, perseverance, obedience, emotional affection for parents. Distinct symptoms are defined in primary school students, less pronounced may persist throughout life. People with a syndrome of excellent pupil are mistakenly called perfectionists, the main difference is that for “honors pupils” the evaluation of those around them is significant, and not the ideal task.

Causes of Excellent Syndrome

The desire to be better than others, the constant need to gain recognition, to reinforce positive self-esteem are formed as a result of previous social experience - interaction with parents, kindergarten teachers, peers. In most cases, the peculiarities of relations within the family become the cause of the syndrome, in particular:

  • Compensation of parental failures. Children's successes can be a continuation of the ambitions of adults. Parents orient the child to achieve goals whose importance is recognized by society, neglecting his interests, desires, and state of health. Through the success of the student in educational activities, sports competitions, creative competitions, they improve their own social status, receive recognition from relatives, teachers, colleagues.
  • High requirements. In families where public recognition is valued, formal achievements (school marks, diplomas, medals, titles, positions) are recorded, people tend to be successful. Internal attitudes, parental behavior patterns are unconsciously transmitted to children.
  • Lack of attention. The praise of parents for the excellent school grade is considered by the child as a manifestation of love. The promotion is supported by the resolution of watching TV longer, buying toys, beautiful clothes. The success of the child becomes a condition of parental attention, receiving material benefits.
  • Low self-esteem. With a good study and sporting achievements, the child tries to compensate for self-doubt, complexes regarding appearance, social status of the family, lack of friends. Official recognition of success, ability, positive qualities temporarily increases self-esteem.

Синдром отличника имеет психогенную природу, в его основе лежат особенности личности, потребности, комплексы, ценности и установки. Ведущая тенденция – достичь поставленной цели для получения положительной оценки общества. Acceptance, approval, praise, and recognition of strengths become necessary conditions for compensating for uncertainty, loneliness, insignificance. The orientation of the individual to formal, external attributes is often formed to the detriment of meaningful - the child or adult performs the activity, not receiving pleasure and satisfaction in the process, the focus shifts to the result. Affective tension, discontent, depression, frustration accumulates gradually. Emotional problems increase with failures, depression often develops, self-esteem decreases, fears are formed.

Symptoms of the syndrome excellent

Children and adults with an excellent student complex have unstable self-esteem, depending on success, failure, and relationships of others. They are sensitive to criticism and praise, have long experienced due to the mistakes made, refuse to do new things, covered by the fear of defeat. Fear of not achieving the goal makes it apply maximum effort, to expend all available resources. The desire for "victory" is so strong that all possible means are used, including lies, manipulations, blackmail. Children write off assignments from comrades, hide poor grades from parents, adults eliminate competitors, use their official position for personal interests.

The “honors students” do not have time and energy for their favorite activities, entertainment, recreation. Fatigue accumulates, emotional instability, dissatisfaction with activity and life in general increases. Failures, criticism, lack of praise provoke an affective surge - crying, hysterical, swearing. Lack of experience in overcoming difficulties, productive analysis of errors is manifested by depression, apathy, and depression. The “high achievers” experience long-term and painful failure, reluctantly take on similar tasks in the future, admit “failure” at first errors, refuse to continue working. Dichotomousness can be traced in thinking: the task must be executed ideally or not at all.


Complications of the syndrome of excellence develop on the basis of emotional instability, tension and exhaustion. At primary school age, tics, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and psychosomatic reactions often form. Involuntary muscle twitches, compulsive actions (hand washing, shifting books), frequent colds, dizziness, pain are detected. In adolescence, social fears are manifested - fear of public speaking, creative tasks, and communication with peers. In the absence of psychological correction, the syndrome does not diminish in adulthood, neurosis and psychosomatic diseases become complications: depression, conversion disorder, arterial hypertension, asthma, and others.

Prognosis and prevention

With complex psychotherapeutic aid, the prognosis of the syndrome of excellent student is favorable: all manifestations are gradually reduced, personal attitudes change. Prevention should be dealt with early childhood. Parents are advised to analyze and adjust the features of education: if necessary, reduce the requirements for the child, appreciate his qualities (not achievements), show unconditional love and acceptance, do not scold and punish for failures, do not compare with other children. In terms of the day, it is important to allocate time for activities that do not have an ultimate goal, but are interesting and enjoyable - walks, games, sports without competitions and standards.