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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What causes plastic surgery obsession?

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    Anthony Berrick


    Doing something that makes us feel better, by taking away pain or distress, gets strongly ‘reinforced’ in our brains. This means that the next time we experience the same distressing thoughts or feelings, our brains will tell us to repeat the behaviour which previously provided relief. This is often how addictions originate.

    If you feel anxious or have upsetting thoughts about your physical appearance, then having plastic surgery could well provide a powerful temporary relief from this distress. This behaviour could then become a way of ‘coping’ with emotional distress. Unfortunately, if the underlying emotional issues weren't addressed, then the obsession with plastic surgery would probably persist.

    Hope that makes sense!

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