Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

Vanity--the Destruction of Perfectionism

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Feb 25, 2013 8:29 PM

All too often, really vain people notice wrinkles, brown spots, veins, crooked bones, dry or oily hair,uneven or yellow teeth and more-- marring a dream o the perfect look. Then, there are people who do the same thing with their house or their car, finding a fault in the molding, a tiny scratch, or discoloration, whatever....Where does all this vanity lead? Perfection? No.

In some cases, people spend tens of thousands of dollars on tooth implants, surgery, cosmetics, and procedures. They trade in and lease cars which function fine yearly, instead of getting their money's worth, even if they can't afford it. They carry debt. They buy bigger houses than necessary and then remodel often. It gets crazy.

This kind of scary vanity is a form of obsessive compulsive personality and when it impairs life functioning, like relationships, work, financial security, health, it's a disorder--and a disaster.

What to do? Some people come to their senses once their wallets or hearts are broken. The shock changes their perspective. Others suffer physically after a procedure went bad or a cosmetic failed. However, it's really great when a close family member or friend convinces the compulsive beauty- or image-seeker that there's more to life, that no one can make up for past losses or unfair treatment by present perfection (as if that were possible), and image is fleeting, while character counts more in terms of legacy. Or a therapist could help.

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