Plastic Surgery – A Cure to Depression? (Includes Study)

Depressed girl holding up sign of fake smiley face

Can plastic surgery help with depression? People who are happy with their self-image are more likely to be self-confident, effective in work, and comfortable in their relationships. But for those with low self-image are usually self-conscious, and less effective in activities. As a result, people with low self-image typically opt for plastic surgery, which can promote a positive self-image. Even a small change outside can create an extraordinary change inside, which increase self-confidence. Often, the results of plastic surgery are significant and permanent. So, it is vital to understand the underlying psychological issues involved with plastic surgery before undergoing any surgical procedure. 

Types of people for plastic surgery:

There are many types of people who seek plastic surgery. The first type includes patients who want to improve their physical appearance of looking more attractive. In their case, they may want to  The second type contains patients with a physical defect that has diminished their self-esteem over time, such as gyno breast surgery

However, not everyone is an appropriate candidate for plastic surgery. Experienced surgeons in this aesthetic field have identified troubled patients during a consultation. As such, they have recommended psychological counselling to ensure that the patient desire for an appearance change is not part of an emotional problem that no amount of surgery can fix. Hence, the reason for undergoing plastic surgery can differ significantly.

Factors Influencing the Psychological Effects of Plastic Surgery:

Girl who is lonely and depressed in a crowd. Can plastic surgery help her?

There can be various factors that can influence the psychological effects of plastic surgery. Some of the factors influencing the psychological impacts of plastic surgery are discussed in brief below:

  1. Mental Health Issues: A person’s motivation for plastic surgery may affect the psychological effects of plastic surgery.  Besides, any mental health issues that may have existed before the surgical procedure may also influence the psychological effects. One mental health issue that frequently comes up in the world of plastic surgery is body dysmorphic disorder, which makes a person conscious of physical appearance. This disorder is far more prevalent among people who are looking for plastic surgery. The condition may lead to other adverse consequences, such as the development of eating disorders, depression, self-harm, and self-mutilation. Besides, this disorder tends to exhibit traits of depression and anxiety, especially in dealing with their social activities.  Similarly, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is another mental health issue that may also influence the psychological effects of plastic surgery.
  2. Timing of the Surgery: Timing of plastic surgery can adversely influence the patient’s psychological aspect as it can impose emotional stress. Besides, daily physical activities can further contribute to this problem. As such, the patient should not schedule for plastic surgery during a time of a significant event or emotional upheaval. Patients who go into surgery feeling preoccupied or pressured with other matters may face more prolonged and more difficult recovery periods.
  3. Adjusting with Post Plastic Surgery Depression: Studies show that people who undergo any surgical procedure can contribute to depression. Depression is a common illness that can occur post-surgery. This emotional letdown is the results of stress, exhaustion, metabolic changes, or the frustration of waiting for results to appear. Some of the symptoms are unique to the mental health condition, especially the signs of hopelessness, dread, and loss of interest in usual hobbies. On recognizing and attributing these symptoms to post-surgery depression, the patients can create a plan that helps to cope with it. Besides, knowing what to expect in the post-surgical period may help you cope better in the days following surgery.
  4. Dealing with Criticism: Another factor of psychological effects of plastic surgery is dealing with criticism from others. For many people, plastic surgery is a sensitive topic. Ignorance, a lack of research, and also a lack of general understanding for other people, is leading many to spew hate on people who have undergone plastic surgery. As such, the results of plastic surgery are likely to provoke some comment from friends and family members, and usually, not all comments are positive. Failure to cope with negative criticism can make the patient undergo depression, social isolation, familial dysfunction, self-destructive behaviors, and anger toward the surgeon. 

Psychological Benefits of Plastic Surgery: Depression, Self-Esteem, and Confidence

Despite its various negative impacts, there are also positive impacts of undergoing plastic surgery. Many people undergo surgery and return to their daily lives with positive psychological benefits. Studies suggest that most patients were pleased with the outcome and felt better about their results. Some of the mental benefits of plastic surgery are:

  1. Improved Self-esteem and Confidence: One of the most common reasons for undergoing plastic surgery is the imbalance self-esteem and confidence with the physical appearance. Thus, undergoing plastic surgery can help people to boost their self-esteem and make them feel confident about their appearance. This positive impact is particularly real for patients who suffered from any physical complications.
  2. Help to Fight Depression: Studies have shown that negative self-image is a major cause of depression. Patients with realistic expectations and knowledge about their emotional conflict with their physical appearance often find a renewed sense of self-image, thereby, decreasing depression. A study found that among a group of plastic surgery patients on anti-depressants, 31 percent stopped the use of medication.
  3. Positive Outlook: Another study that examined the psychological impacts of plastic surgery, researchers surveyed 544 people who had plastic surgery and compared those responses against a control group who did not have surgery. In contrast to those who did not have surgery, people who received plastic surgery felt calmer, healthier, and had a higher degree of self-confidence. These respondents also noted that they viewed themselves as more attractive overall and experienced more satisfaction and enjoyment of life.

To sum up, most patients undergoing plastic surgery experience both positive and negative result concerning psychological aspects. Factors influencing the psychological effects of plastic surgery include mental health issues, the timing of the operation, adjusting with post-surgical depression, and coping with criticism while the psychological benefits of plastic surgery relate to improved self-esteem and confidence, help to fight depression and provide a positive outlook.

 

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Aaron Cummings

Author: Aaron Cummings

I'm Aaron Cummings, a content curator for PlasticSpot with a passion for plastic surgery and beauty. Studied at University of Toronto. Now a San Francisco, USA based writer and editor living the dream.

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