The majority of people frequently link addiction to substances like alcohol, tobacco or drugs, but it can also take several forms that are both physical and psychological. Substance addiction is well-reported in the media, and for good reason. The lives of a person’s friends and family as well as their own may be negatively affected by behavioural addictions.

A person is said to have a “behavioural addiction” if they are addicted to a certain behaviour that makes them feel good. This might result in a person receiving numerous unnecessary aesthetic procedures, such as cosmetic surgery.

What causes cosmetic surgery addiction?

Cosmetic surgery addiction is characterised as a behavioural illness that makes a person continually wish to alter their appearance through plastic surgery.

Like other addictions, a cosmetic surgery addiction may initially seem like something perfectly healthy. Indeed, it is possible to have an excellent experience with a one-off procedure, which can improve a person’s sense of well-being and alter how they perceive their bodies.

Once someone has seen the perceived benefits of cosmetic surgery themselves, they could begin considering what they want to change next. They may decide to arrange more operations immediately, or the desire to have more procedures may manifest over time.

People frequently dislike one or two physical features, whether they are minor—like a crooked tooth—or more overtly obvious, like a projecting ear or uneven breasts. You can have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and an addiction to plastic surgery if you realise that you are continuously looking for imperfections in your body and desiring additional cosmetic procedures.

What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

BDD is also known as body dysmorphia and is characterised by excessive worry over flaws in one’s appearance. These imperfections that we see in ourselves are frequently invisible to others.

BDD can affect persons of any age or gender, but teens and young adults are more likely to experience it. Having BDD is not a symptom of self-centeredness or vanity. It may be uncomfortable and have a big impact on your life.
Patients with BDD symptoms who feel compelled to have cosmetic surgery do so because they have underlying psychological issues they believe can be resolved by changing their physical appearance.

Cosmetic surgery is not the solution to these problems, and typically, those who are always critical of their appearance won’t be happy with the final results since the outcomes they desire are not possible.

1. Social factors

Social factors have a significant impact on addiction to plastic surgery as well. In today’s always-connected society, young children and impressionable individuals are unfortunately more exposed to unrealistic ideas of beauty, whether that exposure comes from movies, music videos, or even the news.

Social influences may skew our perception of beauty, but they may also lead to psychiatric issues like BDD, which should ideally be treated by therapy rather than leading down a path of cosmetic surgery addiction.

2. Dangers of cosmetic surgery addiction

cosmetic surgery

The effects of addiction, whether to drugs or cosmetic procedures, can be very harmful to your health. The dangers of a plastic surgery addiction are severe: you run the risk of developing chronic depression, which can cause significant problems in your social and professional life. You also run the risk of becoming angry or irate at loved ones who are trying to support you when you feel scared or upset.

The greatest concern, though, is the effect that various cosmetic procedures can have on your body. Excessive cosmetic surgery patients run the danger of developing permanent skin and muscle damage, including compressed muscles and significant scarring.

How to get help for cosmetic surgery addiction

No one’s life should be dictated by cosmetic surgery. If you or someone you know is struggling with a plastic surgery addiction, please get in touch with your GP for further details on what to do and where to go.

By Michael Saul, Partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors

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