Recently Dr. Fiorillo was featured in an article that discussed obsession with plastic surgery. There has been a lot of speculation by the media that celebrities are becoming addicted to cosmetic enhancements. True plastic surgery addiction is a serious issue as it has ties to body dysmorphic disorder. Just because someone has had multiple plastic surgery procedures, doesn’t mean that they fall into this category.
True plastic surgery addiction can be detected based on the following symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder. The most common relate to these compulsive behaviors:
1. Constant preoccupation with appearance – individuals with body dysmorphic disorders try to get a glimpse of themselves in any reflective surface they pass. Or, they may have behaviors that are at the other extreme and avoid looking at themselves.
2. Desire to compare appearance to others – those with BDD regularly compare their physical appearance and specific attributes to others.
3. Obsessively learning about the flaw – people with BDD seek as much information as they can about their perceived flaw. If they believe that they are too fat, too thin, have a big nose or too many wrinkles, they compulsively research and read about it.
4. Dissatisfaction with appearance no matter what – people with BDD can change their appearance and alter their perceived flaw, but there will always by something about their appearance they are never satisfied with.
Plastic surgeons are careful about operating on people with body dysmorphic disorder; but in most of the cases reported upon today, the desire for physical improvement is not due to such a severe mental health issue.