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The Implications Of Cosmetic Surgery, The Media And Mental Health



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When it comes to cosmetic surgery, many surgeons fail to understand the complications involved with the possibility of underlying mental health issues – or just simply ignore it.

In a constantly appearance-focused environment, it is becoming more and more important for people to look and feel good. Posters, magazines, adverts, and images on the internet portray (in many cases), an unobtainable vision to the public of how we should appear. This really isn’t ideal, as many of the images made mainstream are negatively impacting the self-esteem and confidence of many. What’s more, these images are more often than not digitally enhanced to the extreme using editing software and skilled techniques. So in actual fact, what we see is completely fake.

They amounted to pressure on individuals to follow the trend and attempt to look exactly the same as what they consistently see in the media is astonishing. This pressure can inevitably lead to deterioration of mental health, or worsening of existing mental health issues.

One such mental illness is Body Dysmorphic Disorder – whereby the sufferer actually sees imperfections even if they are non-existent or extremely minor. Symptoms can include complete isolation and inability to venture outdoors, fearful of mocking or even being seen, as well as the progressive  ‘need’ from the sufferer to seek and obtain surgical procedures to ‘fix’ their problems; the problem is, it never does because it is a mental issue. This is a particularly serious disorder and in some cases, even leads to suicide.

Cosmetic surgeons have been known to ignore these symptoms and continue raking in profits regardless of the complications which can arise from this. Take the scenario of a BDD sufferer who is obsessively unhappy about the appearance of their facial features – they undergo a facelift but are then devastated with the results – even if there is nothing that appears to be wrong. The effect this will have on the persons’ mind is immeasurable, possibly distressing them so much that it sends their condition into a nosedive, where they will experience frequent BDD attacks, (complete intensifying of symptoms).

Thankfully, there are still plenty of private consultants who do things by the book and care for their patients and take the utmost pride in the cosmetic work they provide. Hospitals offering cosmetic surgery in Birmingham, London, and Manchester have been renowned for their work over the recent years. People who opt for treatments are urged to exhaustively research the consultant surgeon in mind and ask others for recommendations and advice from their GP on feasibility, leaving no room for wrong decisions.