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Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Plastic Surgery

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In today’s society an increasing number of women are seeking cosmetic surgery to correct physical flaws in their body. While having a “nip and a tuck” here and there is perfectly acceptable, there are some women who are addicted to cosmetic surgery. Statistics reveal that more than 20 percent of women seek multiple cosmetic procedures and at least 15 percent never receive any satisfaction. Studies now show that some people, both men and women, who repeatedly seek cosmetic surgery, may be afflicted with a mental disorder known as body dysmorphic disorder. In these people, the simple “nip and tuck” or Botox injections do absolutely nothing to satisfy their mind.

In people with body dysmorphic disorder, every minor flaw on their body is perceived as a huge imperfection that leads to a lot of anxiety and stress. These individuals become so fixated with their physical beauty that they become dysfunctional when they view their body.

Typically, these individuals become heavy users of cosmetic surgery. Unfortunately, the majority of plastic surgeons never consider the emotional component and continue to perform more procedures as it is a source of income for them. Rather than recommending these patients for some type of psychological counseling, these unfortunate individuals are sliced and diced everywhere on their body.

It is believed that in the United States alone close to 8 percent of people have body dysmorphic disorder and need treatment.

In a recent study done at Rhode Island and Philadelphia hospitals, doctors observed that less than 2 percent of patients with body dysmorphic disorder were relieved of their symptoms after surgery. One quarter of patents did improve but in some the symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder actually worsened after the procedures. The study authors mentioned that these people cannot be treated with a scalpel or a Botox syringe, but need something else.

"Physicians need to be aware that psychiatric treatments for BDD such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors and cognitive behavioral therapy appear to be effective for what can be a debilitating disorder," the researchers wrote.

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EmpowHER Guest

SSRI's and CBT? The psychiatric profession's answer to "everything". If you think that you aren't "attractive enough" then trust your own perceptions and feelings. Make the changes that you need to feel better about yourself. Please, don't waste time and money popping "Prozac" and paying a psychiatrist or psychologist to tell you how you "need to be thinking" according to CBT. Everyone's perceptions are different. If a doctor tells you that you have a "chemical imbalance" then ask him or her to perform a medical test that offers objective proof of that "chemical imbalance".

March 6, 2011 - 7:14am
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