We all have certain features, be it our nose or that extra skin around our stomach, that we obsess over. We look in the mirror and think about how much we would love to wish it away or fix it with a quick snap of our fingers.
What happens when you have a cosmetic procedure to address your particular “problem area” and it turns out great? Well, most of us probably think “this is awesome” and we are happy.
But there are those out there who have a much different reaction. Once their troublesome under-eye bags are taken care of, they think, “Wow, my chin sure looks small now.” It’s called Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).
Dr. Popp describes it as, “An abnormal assessment or interpretation of one’s own body. In the areas of cosmetic surgery or procedure, it’s a person who never sees that they are better or improved. Once one procedure is done, they move on to some other area.”
It can be difficult for a doctor to pick these people out, but Dr. Popp says one thing that would give him pause to treat someone is if they have had multiple cosmetic procedures.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), seeking lots of cosmetic procedures or surgeries is just one symptom of BDD.
- Comparing one’s body parts to others’
- Changing clothes often
- Skin picking
- Avoiding mirrors
- Obsessively checking one’s appearance in mirrors
- Avoiding socializing because you don’t want people to see you
“I’m pretty nervous about individuals who are maybe a little bit quirky. If I don’t think they will follow the postoperative rules or that their expectations are inappropriate, I won’t go there. And I will tell them that. It’s just not worth it for them or for me,” says Dr. Popp.
The bottom line is Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a serious issue. The Mayo Clinic suggests if you feel you may have BDD to consult your healthcare provider. He or she will likely then refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist for evaluation and treatment.
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