Everybody knows that plastic surgery can be used to improve your looks, but can it also improve your outlook? A study appearing in an issue of Plastic Surgery Nursing suggests this might be the case, revealing that the positive effects of plastic surgery run beyond the purely physical.
Cosmetic surgery improves people’s self image
Cynthia Figueroa-Haas, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Florida, conducted the study for her doctoral thesis at Barry University in Miami Shores. She is quoted as saying, “Many individuals, including health-care providers, have preconceived negative ideas about those who elect to have plastic surgery, without fully understanding the benefits that may occur from these procedures… This study provides the impetus for future studies related to self-esteem, human sexuality and cosmetic surgery.” — (psychcentral.com). This brings into question the stigma that those seeking cosmetic surgery are motivated by vanity, or that cosmetic surgery has no benefits beyond the purely aesthetic. Perhaps not surprisingly, there’s more to the story.
Cosmetic surgery may heal depression
While plastic surgery isn’t meant to serve as a cure-all for self-esteem, when approached with the right attitude and mindset as part of an holistic approach to beauty and wellness, it can certainly lead to an improvement in one’s self image, which is a major factor in self-esteem. CBSNews reports on multiple studies offering evidence to that effect:
“The effect of cosmetic surgery could be strong enough to help people get off antidepressant medications,” says Bruce Freedman, M.D., a plastic surgeon in the Washington, D.C. area, who led one study.
Recently there is yet more science backing up this idea. This recent article at FemaleFirst.co.uk from March of 2012 cites a study by the the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF), which found cosmetic surgery patients “experience a real-time decrease in ‘negative body image’ in specific social situations for at least 12 months after surgery.”
While it isn’t reasonable to expect cosmetic surgery will solve every problem, it’s certainly worth considering if body-image is a factor in your perception and attitude toward yourself.