Psychiatric Conditions in Cosmetic Surgery Patients

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Beauty is important. As psychiatrists, we see the interface of beauty with mental health, self-esteem, and mental illness. As physicians who enhance cosmetic appearance, you encounter a broad spectrum of patients ranging from those with a healthy pursuit of enhanced appearance to those whose behavior is extremely maladaptive. This article provides some examples of unhealthy pursuit and how to recognize patients who may be inappropriate for cosmetic procedures. Patients with body dysmorphic disorder and narcissistic and histrionic personality disorders are suffering from psychiatric illnesses that interfere with their judgment and can lead them to make poor choices when considering cosmetic procedures. Clinicians who acquire a basic understanding of these psychiatric conditions can properly screen their patients and enhance their understanding of their patients' goals, both realistic and unrealistic, thus saving them from performing inappropriate procedures that cause frustration to both the clinician and the patient.

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