Addiction to Plastic Surgery: An Unhealthy Obsession with Physical Appearance

The way we look has a significant impact on our confidence. It bolsters our self-esteem to know that the general public approves of us. How we present ourselves visually has a significant impact on how others see us. It’s the first thing people see of you and the one that sticks with them the most. What is it that you see when you look at yourself in the mirror? Is that what you think of yourself? Do you wish to change any unflattering aspects of your appearance? Body modification through surgical means is known as plastic surgery.

Learn from this article why so many people are willing to have many cosmetic procedures done. Discover the root of the plastic surgery addiction problem. And find out how to deal with plastic surgery addiction to stop it from destroying our social and psychological health.

Addiction to Plastic Surgery: Possible Roots

There may be a connection between addiction and upbringing. In today’s appearance-obsessed society, everyone has an opinion on how we should look. We all have flaws that we try to cover up with elaborate hair, makeup, and wardrobe choices. People who seek out plastic surgery repeatedly in an attempt to boost their self-esteem may be addicted to the procedure.

Assault on Children

Studies reveal that people with body dysmorphic disorder and other mental health issues who have undergone plastic surgery still experience ‘unhealed’ childhood trauma. Long-term neglect, poor parenting, or maltreatment may be to blame for the child’s stunted growth. Addiction and other forms of mental illness may arise as a result of the damage done throughout development.

Childhood trauma can have long-lasting effects on an adult’s sense of autonomy and safety. These patients may find comfort in their cosmetic surgery addiction. They feel more confident and in charge after undergoing multiple cosmetic operations.

Drug Abuse

Substance abuse may be a contributing factor when links are made between compulsive cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery and issues of mental health. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterised by intense and uncontrollable thoughts and rituals. Repetitive behaviour is a symptom of this anxiety disorder. Substance abuse treatment is never simple, but it can be especially difficult for a patient who has to deal with an issue with their mental health.

Disease of the Dysmorphic Body

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, people with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) obsess excessively about perceived imperfections in their physical appearance. It doesn’t matter how slight the imperfection is; they will always feel self-conscious and worried about it.

Obsessive-compulsive behaviours, including picking at the skin, mirror staring, and seeking assurance, are common among those who suffer from BDD. Body dysmorphic disorder can range in intensity depending on the individual’s emotional stability. It has a disastrous effect on the lives of those around you since it causes them extreme emotional turmoil. Surgery for body dysmorphic disorder is rarely successful because it does not treat the underlying causes of the condition. Instead, plastic surgery results in fresh scars and unhappiness.

Plastic Surgery and the Treatment of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Patients with body dysmorphic disorder are preoccupied with their appearance to the point where they frequently examine their reflection or look for confirmation from others. They suffer substantial emotional distress due to an imagined or minor flaw, which interferes with their regular activities.

However, plastic surgery addiction is classified as a mental illness. It occurs when a person is preoccupied with altering their physical appearance through repeated cosmetic surgeries. To achieve their inflated expectations, sufferers of this condition are prepared to spend more money and put their lives in danger.

One of the key fundamental causes of surgical procedure addiction is body dysmorphic disorder. A 2007 study found that persons who repeatedly seek invasive treatments, such as reconstructive surgery, may suffer from BDD. Someone with a mental disorder may be preoccupied with constantly changing their look through surgical procedures. They may experience some “relief” from their anxiety after undergoing surgery, but their symptoms will likely return at some point.

Differences Between Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery

You would be mistaken to equate cosmetic and plastic surgery. These are two distinct subspecialties within the field of surgery. The sole goal of cosmetic surgery is to enhance the patient’s outward look. It improves a person’s overall appearance by emphasising their best features. Given that it is performed on otherwise healthy tissues, this procedure falls under the category of elective surgery. Cosmetic surgery case studies include:

  • Breast enlargement surgery
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Facial contouring
  • Rejuvenation of the face, brow, and eyelids
  • Liposuction

Reconstructing aesthetic flaws is the main goal of plastic surgery. The process fixes the body’s malfunctions. To specialise in cosmetic procedures, a plastic surgeon can seek further education and training. Such plastic surgical methods may include:

  • Surgical treatment of burns
  • Reconstruction of the Breasts
  • Correction of birth abnormalities like cleft lip and cleft palate
  • Improved Scarring

Signs You Might Have a Problem With Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery and other forms of cosmetic enhancement are not limited to A-list actors and actresses in Hollywood. Most people wish they could alter some part of their appearance. But how can one identify a surgery addict?

When a Person Has Multiple Cosmetic Procedures Performed in a Short period

To have numerous procedures done, patients often have to be transferred to a different plastic surgeon. Some patients would go so far as to seek out unqualified surgeons if it meant getting the care they needed. These people have optimistic expectations for how well their surgeries will go. Their disappointment with the results will drive them to seek more surgical reconstruction. Patients with BDD will likely take their displeasure out on their plastic surgeons if they aren’t happy with the results of their surgeries. They think that getting surgery will make their lives better in every way

Motives for Getting Plastic Surgery

Reconstructive procedures are typically pursued therapeutic purposes by those who suffer from body dysmorphia. They were looking to improve their low sense of self-worth and feel better about themselves. The following are some of the most common reasons given by surgeons for plastic surgery:

To Be Accepted by Others

Self-perception today is heavily impacted by online social media. We care more about what our Instagram followers think than about how we feel about ourselves physically. Because social media dictates our image, those who don’t conform are under pressure from their peers to improve. It promotes the idea that one must alter one’s look to fit in with society. The results of plastic surgery are long-lasting and irreversible.

To Increase One’s Sense of Self-worth

When your clothes fit, you’ll feel more confident and seductive. Some people choose to have plastic surgery to satisfy their ideals of beauty. They link their dissatisfaction with life to how they look and try to improve that via cosmetic surgery. They gain self-assurance and motivation to enjoy their lives to the utmost after surgery.

Anxiety on the Inside

Aesthetic standards vary from individual to person. They may feel the need to have more surgery done since they aren’t satisfied with their appearance. They may have emotional problems and view cosmetic surgery as the sole option to “comfort” themselves.

So That Other People Will Treat You Well

Most people’s assumption that if they look nice, they’ll feel well is correct. They have hope that they can change the way others treat them. Some examples of socially stigmatising physical flaws include “saggy breasts” or “Dumbo ears.” One possible treatment for social anxiety is cosmetic surgery. They have the self-assurance to go out and finally get respect from their peers after these imperfections are corrected.

A Surgeon’s Part in the Epidemic of Compulsive Plastic Surgery

Risks to a patient’s emotional and social well-being are always there with any type of plastic surgery procedure. Plastic surgeons must screen for mental illness and refuse to operate on patients who test positive. Addicts of plastic surgery might have acquired a mental fixation that drives them to constantly improve their appearance. Excessive surgery has the potential to cause irreparable harm and should be handled immediately.

Rehab for Dependence on Cosmetic Surgery

It’s only natural to find a few physical flaws annoying. Multiple cosmetic procedures are acceptable if they boost a person’s confidence. In most situations, an addiction to plastic surgery is indicative of a more severe underlying mental health issue. Therapy is necessary for treating the underlying problem.

Therapy that can aid in the patient’s comprehension of their thoughts and actions is essential for the successful treatment of body dysmorphic disorder. When surgery develops into an addiction, getting to the bottom of what started it is crucial for recovery. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is frequently recommended by surgeons as an effective treatment for BDD. The patient is better able to comprehend and adjust harmful self-perceptions as a result.

Concluding Remarks

Since no one is faultless, we all have our share of flaws. Everyone wishes they could fix the defects they work so hard to conceal. However, it’s questionable to put your life and regular health at risk in pursuit of an impossible ideal of perfection. It might be difficult to break the cycle of body dysmorphia and plastic surgery addiction. If you want to become better, getting help might be the first step. Therapy Now is ready to assist you to find a therapist who will listen to you and help you make sense of your ideas. To begin your path towards a more powerful mind, you can schedule an appointment with them at their Joburg centre this page. Get over your preoccupation with your looks and start living a fulfilling life.

Scroll to top