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When most people think about addiction, they think about drugs and alcohol. Yet, in reality, addiction can come in many different forms. One of these forms is plastic surgery addiction.
Plastic surgery involves a qualified surgeon — although this is not always the case — medically changing a patient’s body to modify their appearance. At times, it can also include changing the way the body functions. While some plastic surgeries are done for medical purposes (for example, to reconstruct parts of the body that were damaged in an accident or to fix certain deformities), many people who get cosmetic surgeries do so in order to achieve a certain look.
Getting plastic surgery is not entirely a bad thing. It can help individuals feel more confident in their skin and improve their overall quality of living. Although, it can also be somewhat of a slippery slope and can eventually lead to addiction.
How Plastic Surgery Addiction Develops
Many people can go in for a simple procedure to alter one aspect of their body and are satisfied with the results. They may never feel the need to have another surgery again. Other people may go in for surgery planning for it to be the only procedure they get, only to become so excited about their results that they feel the need to keep going back over and over again. Every time they have more surgeries done, they experience a boost of confidence, similar to the high that others may get from using drugs or alcohol.
These individuals may struggle to find satisfaction with how they look and always feel compelled to continue to go under the knife to alter their appearance. This addiction can get to a point where plastic surgeons refuse to complete the changes that a patient is asking for, and the individual must seek out a new doctor to get what they are looking for. This cycle of behavior can potentially lead to some significant physical health complications.
There are many reasons why some people may be more at risk than others of developing this type of addiction. They may suffer from mental health issues or poor self-esteem. They may have faced bullying or other types of verbal abuse growing up that made them feel poorly about their physical appearance. Getting plastic surgery may help them feel as if they are in control of their appearance. It may be challenging for them to simply accept how they look without constantly envisioning changes they want to make every time they look into the mirror.
Another one of the most common causes of plastic surgery addictions is a condition called body dysmorphia.
Understanding Body Dysmorphia
Body dysmorphia is probably one of the most common root causes of plastic surgery addictions. People with this condition view their physical appearance differently than how it truly is. For example, they may think of themselves as being overweight when they really are not. Body dysmorphia can also be connected to many common eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
Some common symptoms of this condition include:
- Being extremely obsessed with every tiny flaw in appearance
- Frequently looking for reassurance from others that these flaws are not as noticeable as one believes them to be
- Picking apart their appearance every time they look into the mirror
- Feeling a need to look perfect all of the time
- Avoid social situations in times when they do not feel they look their best
- Going to extensive lengths to hide their perceived flaws with makeup and clothing
- Obsessing over their belief that they are unattractive
- Constantly feeling as if others are paying attention to their perceived flaws
Body dysmorphia can be diagnosed by a doctor and treated over time with the help of a therapist.
Treating an Addiction to Plastic Surgery
One of the reasons addiction to plastic surgery can be damaging is due to some of the pain medications prescribed to treat discomfort following a procedure. In many cases, this sort of pain treatment includes opioids, which are highly addictive and very dangerous. A person can become addicted to them without ever meaning to, and withdrawing from pain killers can be as painful as healing from the surgery without a prescription.
If an individual believes that they are struggling with an addiction to plastic surgery, they can seek help from a therapist, specifically one who specializes in this specific type of addiction. They can walk individuals through their emotions and help them develop healthy coping skills so they can begin to feel confident in their appearance again.
When people think about addiction, most think of those that struggle with alcohol or drugs. But addiction can occur in many forms, one of which is an addiction to plastic surgery. When most people go in for a plastic surgery procedure, they are looking to have one minor aspect of their appearance altered. However, for some people, once they have one procedure done, they feel they need to keep having more to get the desired look they are going for. In many cases, this sort of addiction stems from mental health conditions, such as body dysmorphia. Plastic surgery addiction can be dangerous because it can lead to the misuse of certain painkillers, such as opioids, which are very addictive. If you or someone you know are struggling with addiction, our team At The Kimberly Center can help. Call (855) 452-3683 today to learn more.