While aesthetic doctors are trained to perform cosmetic procedures, they should also identify patients who may develop a cosmetic treatment addiction.
So what are some signs doctors could be watching for? A few examples may be:
When a person has repeated cosmetic procedures done but never feels satisfied or fulfilled with their appearance, they could have a cosmetic procedure addiction. A plastic surgery addiction could result in patients spending huge amounts of time, money, and resources on surgeries without achieving satisfaction.
Patients are often unhappy with the results of their cosmetic procedures and take their frustrations out on their treating doctor in extreme cases.
The individual may have very unrealistic expectations about the treatment, thinking it will gain them a better job or a better relationship.
They may be satisfied with the requested treatment, but then “suddenly realize” another feature is unacceptable and desire more procedures.
The patient usually shows signs of body dysmorphic disorder which will need to be assessed and considered by the treating clinician.
Someone showing signs of cosmetic procedure addiction may also be suffering from another issue that is causing them to abuse drugs and alcohol as well as putting themselves through repeated procedures. Some will turn to very dangerous drugs in hopes of improving their bodies. This self-medicating can also lead to substance use disorder. This is why dual diagnosis treatment is so important for people who struggle with co-occurring disorders, having a comprehensive and holistic program with dual diagnosis resources can make all the difference.
In response to this issue, aesthetic practitioners need to have the required skills and knowledge to correctly identify those presenting with BDD like symptoms. Administering a questionnaire such as the one available at Dr Azoo Cosmetic Clinic to screen for associated symptoms can be helpful. Those who show signs of BDD can then have a further discussion with Dr Azoo and be referred to mental health professionals for specialised treatments, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, exposure and response prevention, family support and medication as required.
Medical practitioners have an ethical responsibility to weigh the risks and potential benefits of any treatment. Dr Azoo puts the health and overall wellbeing of his patients at the forefront of any decision he makes. He will not perform a cosmetic procedure on anyone who I believe is having it unnecessarily, whether that’s through addiction or coercion or inappropriate psychological drivers. Dr Azoo believes that everyone is beautiful just the way they are, and that cosmetic treatments should be used to complement a person’s individual and natural beauty.
Further information and support on BDD can be found through the MIND website via this link: