Oftentimes, plastic surgery addicts start out with one or two surgeries and over time start seeing their doctor more frequently for more procedures, occasionally with very strange requests. Plastic surgery, fillers and injectables all have their place when it comes to reversing the signs of aging. When more than a couple of standard procedures are done in a very short amount of time, and there’s an underlying urge to continue to be operated on despite what the results look like, that’s reason for concern. Even when the original problem is corrected, true plastic surgery addicts will not be satisfied with the outcome and will turn their focus on another area of concern. Plastic surgery addiction triggers include:
Poor self-esteem and underlying psychological issues. According to Rancho Mirage, CA, plastic surgeon Suzanne Quardt, MD, people get addicted to surgery because they are not happy with themselves at the core.
Personal trauma or negative experiences. “A patient of mine had a bad relationship with her father. She was reminded of him every time she looked in the mirror. She physically wanted the trauma erased,” says Marietta, GA facial plastic surgeon Seth A. Yellin, MD.
Attention. “Some women thrive on the attention that comes with being notably enhanced. Others do it as a status symbol—it lets people know they can afford the procedures,” says Dr. Yellin.
How to tell if you have an addiction:
Everything in moderation—that’s the mantra we are told to live by. When anything becomes too excessive, it’s considered dangerous and addictive.
Plastic surgery obsessions exist because there are numerous procedures available, and an emphasis in the media on youth. Dr. Quardt says, “Patients who are addicted to aesthetic procedures range from mild to borderline obsessive-compulsive. The most severe cases of obsession with the body would be an authentic BDD patient.”
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a serious obsessive-compulsive condition, which causes its sufferers to obsess over their appearance because they do not feel beautiful. They view their imperfections, even the minor ones, as severe and go to great lengths to correct them. The setback with operating on those with BDD is that it feeds the patient with false hope. About 1 percent of Americans truly suffer from BDD. An evaluation by a psychologist or psychiatrist is often recommended by a plastic surgeon who believes a patient may have BDD.