Is it all in your head?
Happy Monday! Today I wanted to talk about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. Having a practice that is specifically focused on cosmetic dentistry I see a lot of patients obsessed with achieving the most perfect self-image. This is something that is becoming more and more common with the popularity of social media and the selfie-era we live in. It is easy to categorize these people as being vain or self-centered, but I disagree. Our social media clad society is breeding the widespread prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:
BDD is a body-image disorder characterized by persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one's appearance.
People with BDD can dislike any part of their body, although they often find fault with their hair, skin, nose, chest, or stomach. In reality, a perceived defect may be only a slight imperfection or nonexistent. But for someone with BDD, the flaw is significant and prominent, often causing severe emotional distress and difficulties in daily functioning.
To some degree we can all obsess about something we don’t like about ourselves, but then life usually throws us some sort of curve ball and then we get distracted. For those battling BDD it is something they cannot stop thinking about. I have seen patients for consultations who want veneers on perfectly beautiful teeth. As someone who treats others as they would want for themselves, I will not do that. I would suggest whitening or a little Invisalign if needed but I would never place restorations if they are not needed, but not all practitioners are this way.
I have heard of many stories of patients doing treatment, just to be even more unhappy with the final result whether it is a smile makeover, nose-job etc. My tip of advice to anyone who is thinking of doing something to themselves is to consult with someone who knows you and really cares about you and see what they think about you doing this procedure. This is probably not your mother because she thinks you are perfect, but a true friend who knows where you are coming from, sees who you really are and cares for your well-being. If this friend truly cares about you and they tell you not to do it then really consider taking their advice. There are way too many people who regret altering their self-image all because of an obsession they had.
Hope you have an amazing week!