Snow White syndrome: "mirror, mirror ..."
We live in a society in which one of the most valued attributes is the physical appearance . Many women (and also some men) are not able to accept the appearance of the first wrinkles, and try to disguise their age.
With the passage of time, age leaves its mark , and the unhappiness becomes increasingly greater for them, since they can not bear to see how their physical appearance changes. After 40, they leave behind that beauty characteristic of their youth and frustration and anxiety appear.
The Blancanienves Syndrome: what is it?
In our article "The Syndrome of Peter Pan and Wendy: Trapped in Never Never" we speak of two disorders that have the origin of his name in two characters of Disney . In this article, we will expose the characteristics of Snow White syndrome .
The Snow White Syndrome refers to the distortion of the image that a person has of himself with respect to his youth, beauty or qualities characteristic of this stage of life, and the envy that the person feels toward younger people and that he considers to be more attractive.
Betsy Cohen, an American psychotherapist, coined the term in one of her books. Although this disorder is not part of the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), psychologists pay more and more attention to their symptoms, which usually appear in many women when they are over 40 years old.
Although this syndrome is more common in women, some cases have also been reported in men.
The Snow White Syndrome: insecurity and envy
The name of this syndrome is inspired by the Queen Grimhilde , the evil stepmother of Snow White. This does not support that there is someone more beautiful than her, and feels a great envy for the young and beautiful Snow White. The wicked and vain stepmother, asks Humbert, a hunter, to end the life of his stepdaughter and bring her his heart.
Since Humbert refuses to kill her, Queen Grimhilde disguises herself as an old woman and goes in search of Snow White, to kill her herself with a poisoned apple. The envy that Queen Grimahalde feels, makes her not only want to kill an enemy, but her goal is to end the life of a family member.
The person who suffers from this disorder, like the Disney character, feel insecurity about their own image and he is afraid of old age, unless he looks as before, and does not accept the physical consequences of the passage of time. This insecurity causes that he feels envy towards young and attractive people and can go on to emotionally attack (in some cases it can be physically), with constant humiliations, the person object of his envy.
Many of these cases occur between mother and daughter , but it can also occur between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law, between sisters, between friends and at work. The great frustration felt by the person affected by the Snow White Syndrome, negatively affects their well-being and causes depression and anxiety.
Some consequences of the low tolerance to age, make him a person obsessed with his physical image, being able to reach cosmetic surgery to keep looking young. Despite his age, wants to remain a "twenty-year-old" and dresses as if she were still in the early 20's . Also, try to have many relationships with men to feel young, beautiful and desired.
Symptoms of Snow White Syndrome
Below we expose the symptoms more than manifested by a person suffering from Snow White Syndrome:
- Anxiety and depression for not accepting the fear of getting old.
- Envy and competitive desire before younger and beautiful women.
- Obsession for health and physical beauty.
- Frequent flirtations with men (most of them younger) due to the constant search for approval of their physical appearance.
- Fear of being single and searching for a new partner after the breakup sentimental.
- Envy towards women who lead a satisfying couple life.
- Distortion of self-concept and low self-esteem.
- Obsession to maintain the appearance of youth, coming to cosmetic surgery in many cases.
- Sadness to remember the lost youth and the qualities of that age that are already lost.
How to overcome the Snow White Syndrome?
The irrational beliefs Due to the social pressure these people feel they can cause these women (and some men) to need psychological help. To get out of this situation, it is necessary to work self-knowledge, self-acceptance and self-concept improvement to reduce anxious symptoms . The change of dysfunctional beliefs is necessary to restore well-being and reduce frustration.
Behavioral Cognitive Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness or Emotional Intelligence, can be effective forms of therapy for the treatment of this syndrome.