Every woman can likely find something about their appearance they wish they could change. From a less-than-perfect smile, to too many freckles or a slightly crooked nose, it’s easy to nit pick. And while it might be normal to wish you had abs or perfect skin, it’s not normal to obsess over your imperfections.
People that have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), a mental illness that involves obsessive preoccupation with a perceived “problem” in one’s appearance, will think about what they don’t like about themselves for hours each day, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Many women who suffer from BDD that have the means, might go as far as seeking cosmetic surgery in an effort to change what they hate about their face or body. However, new research published in the journal Annals of Plastic Surgery found that this is not a cure.
The study found that 21 percent of people with BDD received surgical or minimally invasive treatment for their perceived problem and after the cosmetic enhancement, nearly all of these people continued to have BDD symptoms. Some patients even developed new appearance “preoccupations.” The most common surgical procedures sought out by patients with BDD were rhinoplasty and breast augmentation, while the most common minimally invasive treatments were microdermabrasion and collagen injections.
The research also found that in a survey of 265 cosmetic surgeons, 65 percent of them reported treating patients with BDD, but only one percent of the patients saw improvement with their disorder leading researchers to conclude that the only effective treatment for BDD is psychiatric.
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