BDD or Body Dysmorphic disorder has been crucial in the reality of cosmetic surgery, a disorder that victimizes the subject of concern resulting in the gradual deterioration of the brain functionality. Records have found that more than 2 percent of the human population struggle with this version of mental ailment, the rest being left in the pool are undiagnosed and unaccounted for.
Several characteristics exhibit the presence of BDD in the sufferer such as obsession with appearance that leads one to constantly look in the mirror or totally avoid it , preoccupation with diet and exercise to obtain the dreamt image, frequent thought of suicide over trivial matters, deliberate refrainment from social contacts, unability to persist in a career and/or lead a normal family life, severe addiction to cover up the so called defects with cosmetics and weird outfits, distraction during social gathering or talk, constant quest for reassurances from others etc, that if left untreated cause severe damage to mind and body. It is also evident that the most criticized area of the body the patient finds defect with are the skin, nose and hair although getting frustrated with the body weight is not uncommon. BDD is found to make its impact equally on both men and women irrespective of race and lifestyle.
Living in the evolutionary world where physical appearance and body gestures are a matter of prominence in various fields like film/model industry, cosmetic surgery has been an option to eliminate the irregularities one finds in their body. Most surgeries derive perfect result that would comfort the patient while the rest of them induce what is called the “post-surgery disorders”, an excuse for the already existing BDD.
Scientists and physicians researching in the field of “BDD and its effect” suggest that the patient of concern needs to be subjected to psychiatric treatment instead of the conventional surgical procedure, evading the request from the patient. It is estimated that only 1 percent of the patients who underwent surgery to treat this condition were satisfied with the outcome soon after the surgery while BDD coupled with dissatisfaction remained with the rest and 25 percent of the patients showed slight improvement in the long term. Based on these factual evidences and taking into consideration the post-surgical consequences, therapy and medication are recommended by physicians and psychiatrists as the most promising solution in the long run for Body Dysmorphic disorder.
A new study has found that as many as 20 per cent of plastic surgery patients are referred to psychologists prior to receiving the procedure.
Plastic Surgeons have concerns over the unrealistic expectations some people have for their surgery, believing that some patients see cosmetic enhancements as a way to change the things that have gone wrong in their lives. To prevent people from negative results, many doctors are requiring patients to have clearance form a psychologist before they go under the knife.
Dr. Alex Clarke, a psychologist at the Royal free Hospital in London lays out some guidelines for who should have a psychological consultation prior to surgery. He is concerned with people who have psychiatric conditions such as eating disorders and a condition called body dysmorphic disorder where the affected person is excessively concerned about a perceived defect in his or her physical features.
These conditions will cause increased risks to the surgery as the patient is not likely to see a positive outcome no matter how the surgery turns out. Clarke also believes that stricter guidelines for adolescents seeking cosmetic surgery are needed, she says, “All adolescent patients need a thorough assessment, as do those who have multiple appearance concerns or are being influenced by someone else.” Battling the unreasonable expectations of patients desiring cosmetic surgery is one of the paramount concerns of the plastic surgery industry today.
When considering who an ideal candidate for cosmetic surgery would be, Dr. Clarke stated that it should be someone who is able to describe the procedure, where the outcome is clearly objective and measureable. Clarke’s standards are good ones to emulate, plastic surgery isn’t going to fix everything that is wrong in a patient’s life, it can’t bring back an ex-boyfriend or get you a better job, it won’t make you more popular or make people treat you better. Seeing the surgery realistically is the key to gaining a positive result from the procedure, if it takes a psychologist to help a patient, then a psych consultation is well worth the time and effort.
Surgeons have been advised to assess all patients who request cosmetic surgery to make sure they do not have body dysmorphic disorder.
The number of women choosing to have their breasts enlarged has increased by 39 per cent over the past 25 years, according to the data of Harley Medical Group, a UK-based cosmetic surgery company.
However, the medical community has raised concerns that quite a lot of the women addressing cosmetic surgery clinics might be suffering from body dysmorphic disorder, which makes them emotionally and intellectually fragile and not in the best position to undergo plastic surgery.
Dr David Sarwer, of the University of Pennsylvania’s departments of psychiatry and surgery and Dr Canice Crerand, of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, wrote in the journal Body Image that between 5 and 15 per cent of people who are interested in cosmetic surgery may have body dysmorphic disorder.
They claim that individuals with body dysmorphic disorder “rarely experience improvement in their symptoms” after the treatment and decide that the disorder may be “a contraindication to cosmetic surgery and other treatments”.