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human-barbie-e1434553656211Yes, “Plastic Surgery Addiction” is a very real problem.

To improve the way they look, some people go under the knife again and again – and again, and again. In fact, people with a propensity for plastic surgery may obsessively go from doctor to doctor until they find a plastic surgeon or dermatologist who agrees to treat them or who turns a blind idea to their non-realistic and potentially harmful behavior and goals. I am not one of those doctors and sometimes, even though my patients don’t want to hear the truth, I will turn away certain women and men and actually try to talk them out of a procedure.

The truth is, these people are more likely to have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) than a cosmetic surgery addiction. People with BDD, about 1 to 2 percent of the population (and up to 15 times more prevalent among plastic surgery patients), are preoccupied with their appearance and on the idea that they are ugly or deformed.

People with BDD obsess on a flaw that is minor or imagined. People with the disorder look normal, and are often considered beautiful. But they don’t see themselves that way. Instead, they obsess about their perceived flaw. People who have BDD sometimes have the same body part operated on multiple times. However, surgery is rarely effective since mental health is the root of the problem.

The ASPS trains its members to recognize people who may have body dysmorphic disorder, who often have multiple surgeries on the same body part. They will sometimes try to hide the other surgeries, or they will claim previous procedures have been botched or maybe put the blame on the previous doctor. The bottom line is that If you’re obsessed with any part of your body, consider delaying your plastic surgery plans until you’ve talked to a counselor or mental health specialist. Getting clear about those issues may help you appreciate any procedure you eventually decide on. You should make sure your expectations are in line with the likely results and that they are realistic.

We have all seen the media recently with images of the various women trying to turn themselves into human “Barbie and/or KenDolls.” What are your thoughts on excessive plastic surgery? Please share in the comments below.

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