Plastic Surgery and Body Dysmorphia – should everyone be screened before having plastic surgery?

When I was 17, I wanted a boob job desperately. I was transfixed on their size and shape, to me they were so terrible that I hated even looking at them in the mirror. I’d constantly compare mine with others, on television, in magazines, in the supermarket or at college. I must have looked crazy staring at other girls’ boobs. Eventually I booked a consultation at a cosmetic surgery clinic in Manchester, against my parents’ wishes. I was planning to use my life savings for the operation, lovingly stowed away for me by them for a deposit on a house, travelling, emergencies. My mum came with me to the clinic, and I allowed her to come into my meeting with the surgeon. To my surprise he asked me if I’d had any mental health problems or eating disorders. At this point I hesitated, and as I considered saying ‘no’, my Mum blurted out that I had. She added that I was on Anti-Depressants and he shook his head at me. “I’m sorry, I can’t perform any sort of cosmetic surgery on you.”

That night I cried uncontrollably; I felt like my world had collapsed. I was so upset for months; then finally with the help of friends and family I started to love myself the way I already was.

Looking back now, I am so glad that the surgeon refused to operate. I’m absolutely happy with my boobs now – I don’t want to change them. In the 4 years since that appointment my body has changed; as I was promised it would by my family. The sales lady was understandably disappointed. This begs the question; is it really acceptable for the Cosmetic Surgery industry to make money out of vulnerable patients? Girls with Body Dysmorphia will never be satisfied. They are pre-disposed to become addicted to treatments and surgeries, striving for an unachievable goal.

Glamour model Alicia Douvall is famed for having surgery time and time again, despite admitting she has Body Dysmorphia and wanting to stop to set a good example to her daughters. This once again shows the grip Body Dysmorphia can have on an individual, over a long period of time, despite the desire to recover for loved ones.

What are your thoughts on this? Should all young applicants for surgery be psychologically vetted before continuing to treatment?

Rose xx