What do you tell someone who is depressed or has a distorted sense of their body and believes getting plastic surgery will make him/her better? It is important for anyone considering plastic surgery to know what it can and cannot accomplish.
People who get the most satisfaction from plastic surgery are those who undertake it out of annoyance with a part of their body. They are not expecting their life to improve, but rather their self-esteem improve by correcting something that bothers them. Anyone who is moderately or severely depressed, or who suffers from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), will likely have expectations beyond what the procedure provides.
People with a major depressive disorder (MDD) are generally poor cosmetic surgery candidates. Those who are helped by cosmetic changes go into the procedure with an average or better level of self-esteem. Having no self-esteem is a common symptom of MDD and may be accompanied by a sense of worthlessness.
Plastic surgery may provide depressed people with a temporary boost in mood, but if the underlying mental and emotional problems are not addressed, the depression will return. A common aspect of MDD is the harboring of negative thoughts and beliefs about one's self. Cosmetic procedures will not remove a habit of negativity.
There are exceptions to the above. If someone's depression revolves around an appearance problem that causes them physical or social pain, surgery may be warranted. Examples of this are a young woman whose breasts are large enough to cause back problems, or having a nose that would cause even compassionate people to do a double take. Keep reading ...
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