Can you get addicted to cosmetic surgery

When thinking about addiction cosmetic surgery isn’t one that usually comes to mind right away. For a lot of people, the word addition is more commonly used to describe a person’s dependence on smoking, alcohol and drugs. Our understanding of these more common additions is much greater, which is why there are established processes in place to support and treat individuals who are affected. However, addiction can manifest itself in many ways, causing both mental and physical discomfort. Behavioural addictions like cosmetic surgery addition can be as damaging to an individual, and their friends and family, as any substance addition.

Cosmetic surgery is a highly publicised area of medicine. If you’re not reading about the latest technological developments that can help improve or enhance your aesthetic appearance, you’re certainly hearing about how a some celebrity has attained their physical beauty with the help of cosmetic treatments.

There is certainly no shame in anyone choosing to have treatment to improve their physical appearance. It can be argued that cosmetic treatments, surgical or non-invasive, have become common place in our society today. While, on the whole, most people who have cosmetic surgery don’t experience any problems, there are certain people who become addicted trying to achieve their desired look.

What causes cosmetic surgery addition?

Body dysmorphia

A mental disorder in which an individual perceives themselves to have a physical abnormality which they believe will be improved with the help of cosmetic surgery. The abnormality, or imperfection, can often be imaginary or very slight. As this condition is a mental disorder, cosmetic surgery cannot be used to cure body dysmorphia because the individual will find other existing, or imaginary, conditions to obsess over. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of body dysmorphia must come to terms with the reality of their situation and get psychological help.

Social factors

Social factors play a big part in cosmetic surgery addition. The way treatments are portrayed on TV, news and magazines, combined with societies views on beauty, can put a significant amount of pressure on an individual to look a certain way. Unfortunately, in todays shrinking world where news travels fast and we’re better connected than ever, young people and some of the more vulnerable in our society are being exposed to a very different understanding of what beauty is. A lot of media, intentionally or not, present cosmetic surgery as a necessity to achieve the ultimate beautiful appearance. Therefore, It shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone that a lot of young people grow up with an unrealistic view of themselves, what beauty is and what they need to do to achieve the look they’ve been taught is the ideal.

Accessibility of treatments    

Patients these day have far more choice when it comes to treatments than in any other time in history. From full surgical treatments to non-invasive procedures like botox, patients can change or improve any feature they deem unsatisfactory and needs improvement.

Cost of treatment also plays a significant role in whether an individual can access the treatment they want. Apart from the cost of many procedures going down due to technological improvements, easy access to financial services means a lot of people can take out credit to cover their treatment. For patients who can’t afford the treatment in their home country, international healthcare service, or medical tourism service, can be used to access treatments at a fraction of the cost.

The significant improvements in accessibility of treatments, which is overall a good thing, means some people are having treatments that they may otherwise think twice about.

Is there a cure to cosmetic surgery addition?

Those suffering from body dysmorphia need to get in touch with their doctor to be referred to a mental health processional for treatment and therapy. The specific treatment technique will need to be discussed with the medical professional providing the care. Some medication may also be prescribed as part of the treatment.

Generally, there is no cure for cosmetic surgery addition. A good practitioner should assess the situation of the patient and determine whether the patient is fit to have the treatment. If deemed unfit the procedure shouldn’t proceed any further.

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