According to a new study, one in three people seeking rhinoplasty (more commonly referred to as a nose job) have symptoms of a mental disorder.
The research, published in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery evaluated 266 patients and found roughly one-third exhibited signs of body dysmorphic disorder (B.D.D.)–a mental health condition where someone has an obsession with slight or imagined defects in their appearance. Among the 266 patients evaluated in this study, only 2% of those getting a nose job to correct a medical issue (like a breathing problem) showed signs of this condition. Meanwhile, 43% getting a nose job for vanity or cosmetic reasons displayed symptoms of the mental health disorder. Over all, that equated to 33% with B.D.D. signs.
David B. Sarwer, associate professor of psychology at the Center for Human Appearance at University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine explains:
Almost all of us will get up in the morning and look in the mirror and see something in our appearance we may not like or wish looked different. But for patients with B.D.D., that thought never leaves their mind. They are chronically thinking about their nose, checking in the mirror or a reflective surface, or they avoid situations where people can see their profile. You can see that is a distraction and can make it hard to focus on jobs or studies or family.
Are we the only ones who find it depressing that nearly all of us look in the mirror and don’t like what we see? The fact that women make up 91% of cosmetic procedures performed right now only goes to show that we live in a society where females are judged by how they look–or at least we think we are. That explains why so many women who are seemingly beautiful to begin with opt to go under the knife.
Take for instance, reality star Heidi Montag who underwent 10 plastic surgeries, all in one day. Her obsession to look perfect by enduring multiple cosmetic procedures has the tell-tale signs of a mental health disorder. It can clearly become an addiction for women who feel the pressure from the barbie-doll images, the media, reality shows, peer pressure and insecurities. They somehow feel if they can just take care of this one “problem”–be it a tummy tuck, eye lift or nose job–they will somehow be more accepted. It’s a sad reality, really. Let’s just hope that doctors are smart enough to refuse to perform surgery on anyone who displays these symptoms.