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Can Plastic Surgery Affect Personality?

Apr 16th 2012 at 5:16 AM

It is true that plastic surgery happens worldwide. In fact, it is the leading elective surgery performed. Most celebrities undergo this procedure to maintain their young image and for some, shed a few years from their age. They can’t be blamed since having perfect skin and perfect set of teeth are just some of the requirements for their job. However, undergoing a procedure that can physically change a person’s original appearance may have ill effects on his mental health.

According to studies, it was found that drastically changing a person’s appearance can have bad effects on his sense of identity. This is the case of most celebrities who decide to undergo the knife and have numerous procedures done at the same time. They might say that this saves them from the pain they have to go through since they only experience it once. However, they overlook the fact that what they are actually changing is their own self. For instance, a slightly deviated nasal septum or nose would cause comments to push someone to have it fixed without realizing that the person involved actually defines himself by having that crooked nose, as if he would be another person if he didn’t have the same nose.

This identity crisis is the root cause of having people going back to their surgeons to have another procedure done. Without realizing it, they have lost that degree of identity they had because they don’t feel connected with the ‘new’ person they see in the mirror. Majority of plastic surgery patients want to look like actors, probably because they see celebrities as having perfect lives. This further creates a disillusionment that can have serious effects on their psychological health.

Before admitting a patient to undergo a surgery, the surgeon must assess whether the patient has any underlying psychological disorders to make sure that they do not undergo the procedure for the wrong reason. For instance, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) tends to have patients imagine physical defects that only they can see. They often see themselves ugly, so they turn to plastic surgery to make themselves look beautiful. People with BDD constantly see something wrong with themselves and end up getting dozens of procedures done.

Despite being beneficial for patients, most surgeons do not screen their patients for psychological problems. A therapist named Daniela Schreier, who has seen and worked with patients who have plastic surgery issues, attested that screening doesn’t happen because surgeons are worried it might have a negative effect on their business. It might seem a bit inhumane but this is a fact. On another note, the author of “A Little Work: Behind the Doors of a Park Avenue Plastic Surgeon,” Dr. Z. Paul Lorenc said that screening for BDD is not an assurance that patients will feel the same about their appearance after a procedure that is why most surgeons are still hesitant whether screening should be an added requirement in all plastic surgery procedures.

According to researches, gradual changes over a specific time period would be more beneficial than having one drastic change. This coincides with the development of one’s identity during his adolescent years. It is said that no matter what the type of physical change one may have, it still requires some degree of psychological adjustment. This relationship with the length of adjustment is directly related to the degree of change. Major physical changes would require longer adjustment time as compared to minor ones. This helps the patient have healthier coping with any stressor he may encounter.


NOTE : This Article is originally posted by cosmeticsurgerynews.

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