Cosmetic Surgery and Mental Health

Thinking of undergoing cosmetic surgery? While it can do wonders for your confidence and self-esteem, there are cases where cosmetic surgery can impact mental health.


There is a fine line between seeking improvements for health reasons compared to getting it done due to mental health issues. So, what should you know about cosmetic surgery and mental health? Here, we’ll look at how the two connect and the things patients need to consider.


Should Those with Mental Health Issues Undergo Cosmetic Surgery?


There is a lot of debate over whether those suffering with mental health conditions should undergo cosmetic surgery. This is because their reasons for wanting the surgery may not be healthy.


Take those suffering with body dysmorphic disorder, for example. The main characteristic of the condition is having a distorted view of how you look. So, to them, they may have a disfigurement, but to everyone else they look fine. They could undergo the surgery, but it wouldn’t fix their issue.


Patients should be in a good place mentally when they choose to have cosmetic surgery.  


Studies Show Mental Health Can Worsen after Cosmetic Surgery


A team of Norwegian researchers have discovered that mental health can actually worsen after undergoing cosmetic surgery. Their long-term study showed that women with existing mental health issues such as depression were more likely to undergo surgery. It also revealed that a surprising number of patients actually felt more anxious and depressed after the surgery.


It seems that in those who are suffering with mental health issues, general appearance satisfaction didn’t improve. However, it was quite a limited study and the patients themselves were responsible for providing updates on their mental health.


The conclusion is that patients who aren’t happy in themselves won’t find happiness by altering their physical appearance.


The Danger of Unsuccessful Treatment


Another factor to consider is what happens if the procedure goes wrong. No cosmetic procedure is guaranteed to be 100% successful. The surgery won’t always go as planned and in some cases, results can look worse than they did before.


If the treatment isn’t successful, it has the potential to significantly damage the mental health of patients. If they went into the treatment expecting it to improve their anxiety or depression, it’s going to potentially cause them to spiral out of control if the treatment doesn’t work.


Unfortunately, the potential mental health impact of cosmetic surgery is not often talked about. Patients need to be aware of the risks before they decide whether going under the knife is right for them. They should undergo a consultation with a doctor to determine whether they are in the right place to make the decision.


While cosmetic surgery can improve many patients’ lives, it can also have downsides. This is especially true for those with mental health conditions. If you suffer with depression or anxiety, for example, it is important to understand how surgery might impact you.

Categories: Cosmetic Surgery