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Plastic Surgery Addiction Facts

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Nowadays, plastic surgery is not just limited to physical reconstruction due to accidents. Beauty enhancement or plastic surgery has become popular not just among celebrities but to non-showbiz people as well. Anyone who can afford the process has the chance to feel more ‘beautiful’ and confident.

What does Plastic Surgery Addiction mean?

The desire to achieve the ‘highest’ beauty standard is becoming contagious among us. For celebrity endorsers who are frequently on camera, beauty enhancement is common and becoming ‘normal’. Being idolized by a lot of people, plastic surgery may also attract non-showbiz people to undergo the process of enhancing their physical appearance. That’s a 17% increase since 2015. The number of people who undergo beauty enhancement has surprisingly increased since 2007.

Since the introduction of non-invasive procedures, the number of people who undergo beauty enhancement keeps rising.The total number of non-surgical and surgical operations performed for plastic surgery reached nearly 11.7 million in 2007. The obsession that some people have with plastic surgery has been referred to by some health professionals as an addiction.

Addiction towards plastic surgery can be categorized as a behavioral addiction. Some people struggle with alcohol or substance abuse. When people are addicted to plastic surgery, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re involved in other types of addiction or substance abuse. Plastic surgery addicts are more drawn to a specific behavior.

People who are attracted both to non-surgical and surgical procedures are obsessed with a certain behavior. These types of people are mostly concerned about correcting a part of their body which they considered flawed. Having fixed some of their perceived flaws, the patient may feel comfort and satisfaction. In most cases, these feelings do not last and only stimulate the patient’s interest to undergo plastic surgery again. A single operation for beauty enhancement doesn’t immediately result in addiction.

What are the Causes of Plastic Surgery Addiction?

Modern beauty standards sometimes contribute to the creation of an individual’s perceived flaws. Many people may feel that they have one or more physical flaws. But people who are constantly drawn to plastic surgery to achieve ‘perfection’ may be suffering from several factors that resulted in this behavior.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a psychological condition which is described as similar to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors are some of the most common symptoms of BDD. People who are suffering from this condition are more focused towards their physical appearance and negative qualities. Since it also manifests compulsive behaviors, BDD diagnosed people typically look themselves in the mirror multiple times and seeks confirmation from others about their physical qualities.

BDD is usually linked to a strong feeling of shame which will cause a person to avoid social situations. For example, a person suffering from BDD favors staying at home. They perceive themselves to be extremely flawed (even if they aren’t) and don’t want to expose their negative attributes to the public.

According to The Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, people who constantly seek improvement of their physical appearance are often considered to be suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder. From a survey of 266 rhinoplasty patients, 20% of the total patients already went through previous nose jobs operations. The researchers also found out that 43% of the total number of the participants choose to undergo plastic surgery for aesthetic purposes. Some of these people are diagnosed with moderate to severe findings of BDD.

Social Influence

Society may contribute a big portion of how some people became addicted to plastic surgery.

Many forms of social media give easy access to the personal lives of celebrities. Their lives have been constantly exposed to the public through news and magazine publications. Rumors of having plastic surgery for purely aesthetic reasons are being revealed to the public. Growing up with this perspective, unfortunately, has resulted in the normalization of plastic surgery to the lives of both showbiz and non-showbiz people.

Social factors don’t necessarily mean plastic surgery addiction. Instead, this could create psychological problems like BDD. Since beauty enhancement is becoming ‘normal’, more people are encouraged to try this process without hesitation.

Low Self-Esteem

Many people believe that plastic surgery will help them boost their confidence. It’s true that sometimes negative perceptions can be a drawback for having enough confidence. But this might not be true for people that accept their flaws.

Some people who have a hard time embracing their negative physical qualities see plastic surgery as an immediate solution.

Risks of Plastic Surgery Addiction

The word addiction may be associated with the saying ‘Too much of a good thing can be bad’. Whether it refers to substance abuse or plastic surgery addiction, the results can be very harmful to your mental and physical health. Like the risks of substance abuse, the dangers of extreme cravings for beauty enhancement may lead to constant depression. These effects may lead to difficulty in the person’s personal life.

Aside from the possible danger to mental health, plastic surgery can also affect the physical health of a person. Extreme amounts of plastic surgery may cause permanent damage to the muscles and skin.

How to Treat Plastic Surgery Addiction?

Fortunately, all forms of addiction can be cured. With proper medication and discipline, a person may withdraw themselves from the addiction. When it comes to plastic surgery addiction, treatment is quite different from substance abuse.

There’s no particular treatment for plastic surgery addiction. People diagnosed with BDD usually undergo therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which will help in curing some behavioral disorders.

Treatment may also vary with the patient’s urge to cure the addiction. A person may start changing their personal negative perceptions and channel them into something beautiful and positive. Minimizing social media use may also help people suffering from BDD.