by Cassandra Merkling
(last updated October 12, 2015)
It's important to keep your body in good condition, but is plastic surgery the way to a happier life? Well, first, you need to examine your reasons for wanting plastic surgery. Is the reason because of you or are you getting it to make someone else happy with you? If your reason is the latter, it is probably not a good idea to get plastic surgery. Were you in a terrible accident and the reconstructive surgery did not make you feel quite like yourself again? If so, you might be a good candidate for plastic surgery.
There are many reasons for getting plastic surgery, some of them practical and some of them psychological. A good plastic surgeon will find out what your reasons are for wanting to have your appearance altered. It's also your responsibility to assess yourself honestly and take cues from others. If others are constantly telling you that you look great and all you see are flaws, you may have body dysmorphic disorder and that can mean that you will not be happy no matter what the plastic surgeon does. (Think of Michael Jackson's nose as an example of what could happen if the surgeon gives you your way when you have that condition; and what's worse, picture yourself in that situation, not even seeing the real problem.)
Some people just have a difficult time accepting the features they were born with. In such cases, the plastic surgeon will usually take you to a mirror and ask you what you see. Then, as you describe what you see, she will take note of those things that really bother you and notice whether she can see them with her eyes the same as you see with yours. If the plastic surgeon can't see it, he obviously can't fix it, so it's best that he get what you dislike right out in the open right away so that you can both be on the same page and talk openly about the perceived problems and their potential solutions.
If there is a small problem, but it prevents you from living a normal life, you may need to undergo some psychotherapy so that you can get your mind ready for a normal life and then maybe have some plastic surgery done. It does no good to fix the symptom of a problem and ignore the cause.
So when it comes down to it, I suggest you make a list of all the reasons why you want to get cosmetic surgery and then take it with you to a consultation with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). The list will ensure you don't leave anything out and you will feel better about the meeting knowing that.
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