Having cosmetic surgery, such as breast implants or rhinoplasty (also called nose job), is a big decision. You should think carefully about what you want and why you want it. Consultant psychologist Eileen Bradbury suggests the 10 questions to ask yourself.
Bradbury specializes in the psychology of appearance, and has worked for 20 years with people who are considering cosmetic surgery.
“Cosmetic surgery is carried out for psychological and social reasons, not functional reasons,” she says. Before deciding anything, it is important to understand the motivation for wanting surgery. It should be thought about what exactly is to be achieved by undergoing surgery.
Bradbury says it’s very important to be honest with yourself. This is important as “You’re the one who has to live with the outcome,” she says. “If you rush into the surgery without thinking properly about it, it might be the wrong result, even if the surgery goes well.”
This can be understood by a simple example. If everyone in your family has the same ears, and you have ear reshaping surgery to change yours, you might look in the mirror and feel cut off from family ties.
If you’ve thought a lot about the surgery and the outcome beforehand, it will be easier to cope with the results later.”
Questions to ask yourself
Some people seek cosmetic surgery to solve life problems, or during disruptive times in their lives when they feel bad about themselves, for example, during divorce or a break-up. However, such are not good reasons to have surgery.
People should ask themselves the following questions:
How long have I thought about this surgery?
Did any specific event or reason set off this desire?
Why am I thinking about surgery now?
What is my current life situation?
Are there other ways I can achieve the results I want?
Also please ask yourself:
Am I expecting the surgery to change my life as well as my appearance?
Is the cosmetic surgery for myself or to please someone else?
Am I expecting the surgery to improve my relationship?
Am I expecting surgery to improve my social skills or job prospects?
Can surgery really give me the appearance I want?
If you’re feeling anxious about your relationships, social situations or work, don’t assume that surgery will make everything better. It can make you confident, but it can’t steer you out of every situation of life.
In such situations, instead, you could consider counseling. Talking with a relationship or careers counselor could help you find ways to overcome these anxieties. These counseling services are always available near you.
“If you’re being treated for a psychiatric disorder, such as clinical anxiety or clinical depression, you should postpone the decision of having cosmetic surgery. You’re in a vulnerable position at this stage, and won’t be able to make an informed decision.”
If, after asking all these questions, you decide to have surgery, remember that surgery is only one aspect of your wellbeing. Other than your appearance, your wellbeing also includes your lifestyle, nutrition, work and social life.”
If you decide having surgery, it is very important to choose a reputed and skilled plastic surgeon, who has considerable experience in this field. Your family doctor can help you finding one.
In short, make a wise and cool-headed decision before having any type of cosmetic surgery.
And you are the boss!