Thinking about a Nose Job? You Might Want To Visit a Therapist First

Seeking plastic surgery, especially a nose job, may be an indication of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), which, in essence, is an obsession or preoccupation with imagined or slight defects in appearance, causing significant impairment in relationship and occupational functioning. A typical person suffering from BDD will generally look to plastic surgery before looking to therapy, as they see their suffering coming from an external source rather than from obsessive and intrusive thoughts. Furthermore, studies have shown that even if the surgery is considered successful, they are more likely to be dissatisfied with the outcome and seek a revision.

New studies have given us a better understanding of how prevalent BDD is among those who seek plastic surgery; in fact, it is far, far higher than ever thought – particularly for those interested in rhinoplasty. Among those who seek plastic surgery, specifically rhinoplasty, otherwise known as a nose job, there is a high level of BDD among patients seeking plastic surgery.

Previous studies have put those that suffered from BDD and sought plastic surgery at about ten percent of plastic surgery patients. A new study from the University of Pennsylvania shows that of the individuals seeking rhinoplasty for cosmetic reasons only, almost fifty percent meet criteria for Body Dysthymic Disorder, which is an exceptionally high correlation. On the flip side, those seeking surgery for only medical reasons have a prevalence of just two percent. The researchers concluded that the preoccupation with the nose was significant because a preoccupation with its “defects” had no correlation to any level of abnormality in the nose, but instead was related to poor self-esteem and self-worth.

What Is the Difference Between Just Being Vain and Having BDD?

If a person seeks out a plastic surgeon for a nose job, there has to be some level of dissatisfaction with their appearance that leads to contemplating such a serious solution. Body image dissatisfaction does, however, fall on a continuum: those that struggle with BDD severely struggle with social relationships and have difficulty staying employed. Someone who is simply “vain’ might look in the mirror and wish some things were different or “better”. People suffering from BDD have difficulty thinking of little else; they obsess about the offending body part, stare in the mirror for hours, and try to avoid having people look at them directly.

If a patient is suffering from BBD, operating on the BDD patient can be a mistake. After trying to “improve” one area of dissatisfaction, they very often find a new physical trait to preoccupy themselves with. Since the problem is psychological rather than external, the possibility of satisfaction with the surgery is very low. Preoccupation often sets in with what the BBD sufferer considers a bad result and they begin to obsess about their next surgery.

Relationship difficulties and BDD

People who suffer from BDD often have troubled, chaotic relationships and are so obsessed with their perceived physical defects that they have difficulties connecting with loved ones, often spend huge amounts of money on surgeries and their appearance, and often do not want even their spouse to look closely at them. What BDD sufferers need most is individual therapy, but can often be more easily engaged in couples counseling since it is perceived as less threatening.

If you are interested in treatment for marital therapy or individual counseling in Orange County, Newport Beach, or Irvine, please call Jennifer De Francisco, LCSW at (949) 251-8797.

If not now, when?

You don’t have to go through this alone. Seriously. Let’s get started.

Recent Posts

Featured Testimonials

Chris B.5.0
Read More
Kids are always hard and as a parent it's not always easy to see objectively what is really going on. Jennifer helped me talk through challenges/issues with my oldest son that were running through my head. In the end she provided me a solid perspective to build on and because of that I have been able to manage the situation much better. Easy conversation and very helpful.
Ravenna S.5.0
Read More
Jennifer is such a wonderful and genuine therapist. She is extremely kind and understanding. She comprehends couple and mental health problems precisely. I would definitely recommend her to anyone that is seeking help.
Read More
Jennifer is such a wonderful and genuine therapist. She is extremely kind and understanding. She comprehends couple and mental health problems precisely. I would definitely recommend her to anyone that is seeking help.
Timothy 5.0
Read More
I have been seeing Jennifer De Francisco for about a year, and she has helped me so much with the unhappiness I thought would never go away. Jennifer’s compassion and empathy made me feel safe enough to open up and talk about the uncomfortable feelings I didn’t even know were causing my sadness. With Jennifer’s help, I am now aware of my negative thoughts. Instead of avoiding them, I can work through them. She has helped change my life.
Read More
It was tough when we first started with Jennifer , but through difficult conversations and understanding some of the causes of how closed off we were to each other, we worked through it and are in a good place. The idea that we could break up is the furthest thing from my mind now, and going in to work on our relationship was the best thing to do. One of the things that really helped was that I felt Jennifer really cared that our relationship worked and that we improved things between us. I think that is rare, and always helped me not give up hope.
George S.5.0
Read More
I know people hate to hear this, but relationships take work, especially with kids and stress. I would suggest relationship counseling for any married couple, even if it were just monthly or when things get tough. We continue to see Jennifer after our initial problem because it keeps us on track. Best of luck to all couples looking for help- Jennifer is a wonderful resource.