An independent study conducted by researchers in Norway, which regularly surveyed a group of female students over several years, revealed that women with psychological problems were more likely to opt for cosmetic surgery. Participants who underwent the procedure were found to have a higher prevalence of mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. These conditions were linked to lower self-esteem and image satisfaction. However, numerous studies have shown that patients who have aesthetic procedures report significant improvements in their overall quality of life.
For instance, one study found that those who had facelifts experienced a decrease in symptoms of depression and anxiety. On the other hand, girls who decided to have cosmetic surgery were, on average, more depressed and anxious than those who did not. Plastic surgeons are in a unique position to directly help with these concerns. While the positive side of cosmetic surgery is often highlighted in before-and-after photographs and advertisements published by clinics, the risks to a person's mental health are rarely discussed.
A review of the literature on cosmetic surgery revealed that between 7 and 15 percent of patients suffer from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Being dissatisfied with one's physical appearance can have devastating mental and emotional consequences. It can lead to feelings of inadequacy, loneliness and depression, making it difficult to establish meaningful relationships with others. However, many people also experience mental health benefits from performing a well-considered plastic surgery procedure.
A recent study by Tilmann von Soest and colleagues from Norwegian Social Research looked at the mental health of younger women before and after plastic surgery. They found that those with unrealistic expectations, previous unsatisfactory plastic surgeries, and a history of certain mental health disorders, including BDD, did not get the psychological benefits that other people did. The increasing prevalence of non-surgical cosmetic procedures, such as botox and dermal fillers, has had a significant impact on attitudes toward these beauty treatments. This has made them more accessible but also increases the chances of substandard procedures.
Activists have called for more to be done to protect people's mental health when it comes to the procedures available on Main Street. Around seven percent of Norwegian women between the ages of 18 and 65 have had cosmetic surgery, according to Statistics Norway. This is both before and after surgery, suggesting that plastic surgery does little to alleviate mental health problems. Having plastic surgery to improve your appearance may seem like a quick and effective remedy but when your lives don't improve, your mental health problems may worsen. In conclusion, while there are superficial people who opt for cosmetic surgery for vanity reasons, most people interested in plastic surgery are trying to recover from an injury or deformity or are trying to improve their own mental health. It is important to consider all aspects before undergoing any procedure.