Addiction to Cosmetic Surgery

Topics: Psychology, Avoidant personality disorder, Plastic surgery Pages: 5 (1714 words) Published: February 20, 2014
Addiction means to be physical and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects. According to American Society for Addiction Medicine (2012), “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors”. The addictions are all different behaviors and trends that alter the normal behaviors accepted by the society and that are considered as healthy. Thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are parts of routines and stiles of the humankind, which are changing when the humankind are under the pressure of one addiction. There are many causes of cosmetic surgeries addiction leading to negative effects and compose appropriate solutions. In the specific case of the cosmetic surgery addiction, different factors as social status, idea of beauty, self-steem, and, even, social pressure are its most definitive causes. According to Berrios and Kan (1996), cosmetic surgery addiction is a type of psychological disease, which makes people concerned a lot with body image, manifested as excessive concern about and preoccupation with a perceived defect of their physical features (p.2). The patients believe they have a shortage in their body, which causes psychological pressure and it also causes other diseases. Cosmetic surgery addiction often co-occurs with depression and anxiety, as well as social isolation. Although originally a mental-illness diagnosis of cosmetic surgery addiction usually applied to women, “it occurs equally among men and women, and occasionally in children and older adults”, suggested Phillips and Castle (2001). The causes of cosmetic surgery addiction are different for each person. There is no single cause of cosmetic surgery addiction; a number of factors will be involved and that they can occur in combination, usually a combination of biological, psychological, and social environmental factors. First is biological cause. Cosmetic surgery addiction usually develops in a movement when individuals are most concerned about the way they look to others. Cosmetic surgery addiction can often “occur with obsessive–compulsive disorder and is regarded as an obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder along with obsessive–compulsive disorder”, suggested Hunt, Thienhaus, and Ellwood (2008). According to Fornaro et al. (2009), “A genetic predisposition to obsessive–compulsive disorder may make people more susceptible to cosmetic surgery addiction. Other phobias like social anxiety disorder may also be co-occurring”. Many other life experiences may also act as triggers to cosmetic surgery addiction onset; for example, neglect, insecurity and rejection. According to Phillips (2005), personality traits which have been proposed as contributing factors, which included perfectionism, introversion, neuroticism, sensitivity to rejection or criticism unassertiveness, avoidant personality schizoid personality, shyness, social phobia, and social anxiety disorder. Since personality traits among people with cosmetic surgery addiction vary greatly, it is unlikely that these are the direct cause of cosmetic surgery addiction. Second, it is inherently obvious that the decision to seek cosmetic plastic surgery is significantly affected by psychological issues. The definition of the term “cosmetic” indicates that there is not necessarily a medical need for the procedure. Certain types of psychological trauma stemming from mental and physical abuse, or emotional neglect, can contribute to a person developing cosmetic surgery addiction. Phillips (2005) suggested that teasing or criticism regarding appearance could play a contributory role in the onset of cosmetic surgery addiction. Social environmental factor is the third cause of...
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