Plastic surgery has become a staple in popular culture. From Hollywood stars to everday citizens, it seems to be an expensive but easy way to "fix" a subtle physical flaw. However, for some, plastic surgery is more than that. For some, it is an obsession. Here, we take a look at what is known as Cosmetic Surgery Addiction.
What is Cosmetic Surgery Addiction?
Cosmetic Surgery Addiction is the feeling of a constant desire to receive cosmetic, or plastic, surgery, often to the point of excess. While most plastic surgery procedures are designed to maintain the body’s natural appearance, addicts are usually physically distinguishable because of the extreme and unnatural appearance-altering manner that results from excessive plastic surgery.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder:
Cosmetic surgery addicts often suffer from a disorder known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which is defined as a mental illness that causes one to be fixated on one’s own minor or imagined physical flaw. While this flaw is often insignificant or nonexistent, a person will be mentally consumed and obsessed by this flaw for hours a day. Specific symptoms of BDD include:
How Much is Too Much?
Many experts feel that the best plastic surgery is minor and unnoticeable. When the appearance of a patient begins to look fake or unnatural is when it becomes too much. Cosmetic surgery addicts, however, feel a constant need to adjust and “perfect” their appearance through plastic surgery. While in most cases a surgeon can recommend to their patient that they not undergo any more procedures, it is usually ultimately up to the patient to accept or reject this recommendation. And, if this patient is a cosmetic surgery addict, they will likely reject it.
If a plastic surgeon identifies Cosmetic Surgery Addiction in a patient, they will usually advise psychological counseling before surgery. If it is determined that the patient does indeed need psychological treatment, there are a variety of methods available, including cognitive behavioral therapy and medications. If you or someone you know suffers from this addiction, please seek help.