Making Mountains out of Molehills: Article Reports Higher Rates of Body Dysmorphic Disorder among Facial Plastic Surgery Patients
As an Atlanta plastic cosmetic surgeon who has been practicing for nearly twenty years, I’ve heard many reasons from patients about why they want to change physical attributes with cosmetic surgery. Of course, as a plastic surgeon you have to maintain that thin line between acquiescing to a patient’s desires and measuring their complaints against the level of physical symptoms they exhibit.
Human nature drives us all to change/ better certain physical and emotional aspects of our lives; however, a recent article published in the New York Times entitled Some Nose Job Patients May Have Mental Illness got me thinking about what degree of physical preoccupation needs to be present before it becomes an abnormal tendency.
The article detailed a Belgian study during which 266 rhinoplasty (nose surgery) patients were surveyed about their current level of happiness concerning appearance and their preoccupation with cosmetic complaints (e.g.- how long they examine their appearance, if their cosmetic issue interferes with their social activities, etc.). Of the 266 study participants, 43% were found to exhibit signs of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). A condition characterized by extreme preoccupation with a physical characteristic (e.g.- the size of one’s nose or a tiny tummy pooch), BDD often causes patients to severely limit their social interaction and daily activity for fear that it will highlight what they deem to be physical flaws. More