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April 4, 1997     Cape Gazette
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April 4, 1997

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. CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, April 4- Apri ! 10, 1997. 31 Study f'mds most perfectionists perfe(:tly miserable A lO-year study conducted by percent greater tendency to expe- usually very intelligent and highly which provides prove n techniques retails for $10. It is available from Human Synergistics International, a Michigan-based international management consulting and train- ing materials publishing firm, found that perfectionism, contrary to the popular belief that it is an admirable personality trait, actual- ly contributes to physical ill'hess in the individual and creates con- flict and dissatisfaction in the workplace. Psychologists J. Clayton Laffer- ty, Ph.D., and Lorraine Lafferty, Ph.D. of Human Synergistics, conducted a study of data collect- ed over a 10-year period from 9,211 men and women, most of whom were managers or profes- sionals. Each member of this group had completed a question- naire that measures an indiyid- ual's predominant thinking styles or patterns. Perfectionists typically described themselves as "practi- cal, competent, business-like, per- sistent and enduring, tries to be best at things, impatient with own errors, tries hard to prove self, dri- ven to succeed, de-emphasizes feelings, and seeks recognition." They are described by others as "feels superior to others, easily irritated by minor things, unable to relax, critical of others, preoc- cupied with trivial details, and never satisfied with their own accomplishments." Perfectionists, however, seldom recognize or acknowledge they have a prob- lem. The 10-year study, conducted by Human Synergistics, found that perfectionists exhibited a 75 Incontinence Continued from page 29 When incontinence is caused by a lack of abdominal and pelvic support, the doctor might pre- scribe a regimen of Kegel Exercis- es. Women learn to isolate and con- tract, thereby strengthening, the muscles that control voiding. According to Kwan, surgical restoration or repair of that sup- port system is the last option con- sidered. "There are so many non-inva- sive ways to help. People come here fearing or anticipating surgery, but surgery would really be just a band-aid if you don't step back and look at the whole prob- lem,, Kwan said. "If you don't address the multiple factors, you'll be right back where you started from." Just as incontinence does not develop suddenly (except in infec- tions), it's treatment can take some time. There is no magic pill. And there can be no relief unless a woman seeks medical help. For many, a consultation with their gynecologist or primary care physician is a comfortable first step. "There has been a reaction among our patients to commer- rience a wide variety of ill-health symptoms, ranging from headaches to depression to gas- trointestinal and cardiovascular problems. In addition, they all reported significant and often career or life threatening difficljl- ties in the workplace and at home. Perfectionism also is often a contributing factor to such disor- ders as anorexia nervosa, bulimia and teenage suicides as well as a primary reason for many divorces. Many of these problems and phys- ical symptoms are attributable to the stress created by the perfec- tionist's thought patterns. "Perfectionism is a way of thinking and behaving that on the surface seems a search for excel- lence and perfection, but actually brings great unhappiness, massive imperfection, and poor health," said Colletti-Lafferty. "Perfectionism is in fact an ill- ness manifested by the establish- ment of a never-ending series of self-defeating and impossible goals which doom the perfection- ist to an unfulfilled, unhappy and often lonely life." Perfectionism is learned in childhood and results from one of three primary causes: never having been able to please a significant person (par- ent) in your life; protection against the weak- ness, incompetence, and helpless- ness of one's early childhood experiences; and learning, imitating, or repeat- ing the perfectionism of one' spar- ents. Nevertheless, perfectionists are cials on TV," Killeen said. "It makes them angry, and they come in saying, "I'm not going to wear a diaper!" We approach it in a team fashion, and work with the urolo- gist because it's just not the blad- motivated individuals who often achieve extraordinary levels of success within their fields. Their achievements, however, are in spite of their perfectionism rather than as a result of it. Examples of many illustrious current or former perfectionists include Bryant Gumbel of the "NBC Today Show;" Amy Tan, author of "The Joy Luck Club;" and Steven Jobs, founder of Apple Computer. The Laffertys. have incorporat- ed the findings of their study as well as their experience counsel- ing perfectionists in a new book entitled "Perfectionism: A Sure Cure For HappineSs." In this book, the authors do not advocate a lack of standards or mediocrity. Rather, they seek to expose the mythical standard of perfection- ism that frequently causes its pur- veyors to be alienated from family members, spouses, friends and. business associates - alone in a pointless and endless crusade. The book, designed to help the perfectionist recognize his or her problem and take measures to overcome it, is organized into three major sections: "Perfection- ism Under a Microscope: Defined, Measured, Examined and Explored," which defines and dis- cusses the origins of perfection- ism; "Where Perfectionism Takes You: It's Neither Perfect Nor Pretty," which details the harmful psychological effects of perfec- tionism; and "On The Other Side of Perfect: Where It's Perfectly Acceptable To Be Imperfect - And Methods To Get You There," der, it's the whole pelvic floor." "If you accept incontinence, then you limit your life," Kwan said. "We can help you gain con- trol, not only for your bladder, but of your life." for overcoming perfe:tionism. The book, published by Source Publishing, is 200! pages and Human Synergistics and can by ordered by calling (800) 622- 7584. ltave you had your hearing checked recently? Now is a good timelto come in for a free , hearing test and hearing aid check-up. HEARING AID AssoCIATES 934-1471 Millsboro - 2 miles N. Of Rt. 24 on Rt. 30 6 miles S. of Rti 9 on Rt. 30 Set a Course for a Life! aU NATURAL WEIGHT 0000JqAGEMENT * Free Samples. Available 227-2839 details -- Announces -- [ Delbert J. Kwan, M.D. has joined the practice for expanded urological services, including: Female Urological Problems Kidney Stones including Lithotripsy Prostate Problems Diagnosis 0 Treatment of Cancers in the Urinary Tract Male Sexual Dysfunction Children's Urological Problems I Urinary Incontinence Male Sterilization I 1 Disorders of Male Reproduction including Infertility