Most people often associate addiction with substances like alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. However, addiction can manifest in various forms, both physical and psychological. Substance addiction frequently makes headlines, and rightfully so, as it can negatively impact the lives of the addict and their loved ones. Behavioural addictions can have similar consequences.
A “behavioural addiction” refers to an individual’s dependence on a specific behaviour that brings them pleasure. One such example is the constant pursuit of aesthetic procedures, like cosmetic surgery. Here, Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors takes a look at how addictive cosmetic surgery is.
What causes cosmetic surgery addiction?
Cosmetic surgery addiction is defined as a behavioural disorder that drives a person to continuously seek changes to their appearance through plastic surgery.
Initially, cosmetic surgery addiction may appear harmless. A one-time procedure can result in a positive experience, enhancing an individual’s wellbeing and perception of their body.
However, once someone has experienced the perceived benefits of cosmetic surgery, they may start contemplating their next change. They could either schedule more surgeries immediately or develop the desire for additional procedures over time.
It is common for people to dislike one or two physical features, ranging from minor perceived flaws like a crooked tooth to more prominent issues like protruding ears or asymmetrical breasts. If an individual constantly searches for imperfections and desires further cosmetic procedures, they may have developed body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and a plastic surgery addiction.
What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
BDD, or body dysmorphia, involves excessive concern about perceived flaws in your appearance, often imperceptible to others.
BDD can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender, but it is more prevalent among teenagers and young adults. Suffering from BDD is not indicative of narcissism or vanity; rather, it can be distressing and significantly impact your life.
Patients with BDD symptoms often seek cosmetic surgery to address underlying psychological issues, falsely believing that altering their appearance will resolve their problems.
However, cosmetic surgery is rarely the answer. Those who are perpetually dissatisfied with their appearance are unlikely to be content with the results, as the desired outcomes are unattainable.
Social factors also play a significant role in plastic surgery addiction. In our constantly connected society, young children and impressionable individuals are increasingly exposed to unrealistic beauty standards through movies, music videos, and news.
These social influences can distort our perception of beauty and contribute to mental health issues like BDD, which would ideally be addressed through therapy rather than cosmetic surgery addiction.
Dangers of cosmetic surgery addiction
Addiction, whether to substances or cosmetic procedures, can have detrimental effects on your health. The risks associated with plastic surgery addiction are severe; the development of chronic depression can cause substantial challenges in social and professional life. Additionally, individuals may become irritable or angry towards loved ones trying to offer support.
The most significant concern is the impact of multiple cosmetic procedures on the body. Patients who undergo excessive cosmetic surgeries risk permanent skin and muscle damage, such as compressed muscles and extensive scarring.
Preventing cosmetic surgery addiction
Understanding the negative effects of cosmetic surgery and how it can lead to addiction is essential to addressing the issue. Here are some tips to avoid falling into the trap of this addiction:
Research thoroughly: investigate the procedure, potential risks, and recovery process before committing to cosmetic surgery. Having a clear understanding of the process will help you make an informed decision.
Choose a reputable surgeon: select a qualified and experienced surgeon who prioritises patient well-being and sets realistic expectations about the procedure’s outcome.
Seek a second opinion: consulting with another medical professional can provide additional insights and help you make a well-informed decision.
Reflect on motivations: consider the reasons behind your desire for cosmetic surgery and assess whether the procedure aligns with your values and long-term goals.
How to get help for cosmetic surgery addiction
Cosmetic surgery should not control anyone’s life. If you or someone you know struggles with plastic surgery addiction, consult your general practitioner for guidance on appropriate next steps and available resources.