Behavioral Addiction

Plastic Surgery Addiction

For most people, when they hear the word addiction they think of drugs and alcohol. Substance abuse are some of the most common dependencies, however addictions can manifest themselves in other ways. One very serious addiction that is often overlooked is plastic surgery addiction. Plastic surgery addiction falls into a category of addictions known as behavioral or process addictions. In a behavioral addiction, an individual is addicted to a specific behavior despite apparent negative consequences.

Unlike drug addicts who suffer from chemical addiction, plastic surgery addicts experience mental obsession to alter their bodies and faces. Typically this comes from underlying insecurities and desires to look a certain way, to fit their personal ideal of beauty. Most people who undergo plastic surgery procedures do not have the same obsession that some who is considered addicted to surgically modifying their body. Typically, people can have just one surgery and be satisfied.

Men and women who compulsively go ‘under the knife’ suffer from underlying mental or emotional issues and they use surgery as their outlet. They often don’t realize this and act out instead of seeking help. There are no laws denying people from receiving consecutive cosmetic surgeries and if the patient has money to pay for the surgery most doctors will perform the surgery. There are few regulations on the amount of procedures a person can have, so addicts continue being operated on to their satisfaction.

The concept of beauty is very skewed in today’s society, and many men and women believe that they will only be beautiful if they have the same features as their favorite movie star.

Plastic surgery addicts go to extreme lengths to have the ‘perfect’ chin, lips, or breasts, but they don’t realize that there is no such thing as a perfect face or body. After one surgery, addicts will find a reason to have a second, then a third and so on in their quest for ‘perfection’. The results they are after are unattainable.

It is normal to dislike a particular feature, such as a crooked nose, and want to surgically correct it. However, people who continually find flaws in areas where there are no flaws to be found suffer from a condition called Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). People who suffer from BDD perceive themselves as being ugly while others could see him or her as physically attractive. This perception affects their daily life, causing them to be insecure and unhappy. The underlying causes of BDD are unclear but medication coupled with therapy has proven effective in combating the disorder.

People who undergo excessive surgeries may end up with permanent damage to their muscle tissue and skin. There are also reports of collapsed muscle tissue and excessive scarring. Plastic surgery addicts set out to obtain perfection and they often end up with irreparable damage that permanently modifies their appearance.


Call (323) 775-9177 or contact Dr. Howard Samuels by email