Negative psychological effects of cosmetic surgery

Written by mary flinn
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Negative psychological effects of cosmetic surgery
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According to the American Psychological Association (APA), attractive people are perceived as more intelligent, healthy, sociable and dominant than the average person. Cosmetic surgery seekers looking to improve appearance could get the added bonus of positive body image, confidence and increased self-esteem. But not everyone will have a favourable outcome. Some patients will experience negative psychological effects of cosmetic surgery.

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Research

Research is mixed on the negative psychological effects of cosmetic surgery. According to the American Psychological Association, large, prospective studies are needed to determine how cosmetic surgery impacts quality of life, relationships and self-esteem on a long-term basis (see Resources).

Negative Effects

Documented negative effects of cosmetic surgery include depression, social isolation, self-destructive behaviour, anger and adjustment difficulties.

At-Risk Patients

Patients with unrealistic expectations or a predisposition to or a history of depression, anxiety or personality disorders are more likely to experience negative effects of cosmetic surgery.

Obsessions

Patients suffering from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) are more likely to suffer negative psychological effects of cosmetic surgery. BDD is an obsession with a perceived defect of a physical feature. According to the APA, 7 to 12 per cent of cosmetic surgery patients suffer from BDD.

Self-Image

Patients who have strong self-image prior to cosmetic surgery are less likely to suffer negative psychological effects.

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