# Increasing the quantity of something which is initially good will always lead to an excess?

Take this sentence from a psychological article on wikipedia about the comfort zone:

However, White (2009) also observes that if the work of Robert Yerkes (1907) is considered in which he reported 'Anxiety improves performance until a certain optimum level of arousal has been reached. Beyond that point, performance deteriorates as higher levels of anxiety are attained', if a person steps beyond the optimum performance zone they enter a "danger zone" in which performance will decline rapidly as higher levels of anxiety or discomfort occur.

In this case, scientific evidence are suggesting that anxiety initially improves the performance but when it raises it has the opposite effect. Since that the word "excess".

Sometime is really less intuitive that a raise of something which is initially good will become un-optimal.

An excess of perfectionism could lead to OCD and to an anankastic disorder. See: Is perfectionism related to OCD?

But it's very less intuitive. Starting from this consideration, at an intuitive level, I would guess that every good thing when applied and applied will become suboptimal.

(*)The concept of "too-much" and "excess" is already bound to the consequence and applies only when there are negative consequences.

Is it a generalizable result that very often the complete lack of something or the excessive presence of it can lead to problems?

• Doesn't the very definition of excess or too much imply that it has a negative effect? – Steven Jeuris Mar 17 '14 at 14:08
• @StevenJeuris: I think it's not intuitive. Take something that you consider in a extremely positive way. I.e. the rules, the perfetionism, the love. The consider that the definition of "extreme" or "excess" is really subjective. Most of people will tend to justify their extreme behavior by saying: "it's a good behavior". Maybe I've not clarified this point in my question.. – Revious Mar 17 '14 at 14:27
• I've tried to improve the question, hope now it's more understandable.. – Revious Mar 17 '14 at 14:34

It's a pretty huge question due to its generality, but at that level, it's probably safe to say most things can produce problems in excess. The only specific things you've mentioned are anxiety and perfectionism as far as I can tell. More specifics would help generate clearer answers, but @Prasanta's is good for anxiety, and your intuition resembles theory (if not necessarily reality) about the relationship between perfectionism and obsessive disorders.