If you’re anything like the 9.5 million people in the U.S. that opted for cosmetic surgery in 2010 (according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery), you might be interested in making some desired changes in how you look. Of course, looking good is intimately connected with feeling good – feeling positive and secure about your appearance and lifestyle. When you’ve successfully lost a significant amount of weight – 50 pounds or more, depending on your height – it becomes an option that can occupy quite a bit of your heart and mind.
But are you prepared emotionally to undergo a cosmetic procedure?
Consider these factors:
1. What are your thoughts about plastic surgery in general? Do you believe that only rich people get plastic surgery or that you’ll become an elite member of a private group if you have physical alterations? When you read that a celebrity got cosmetic surgery, what do you think? How do you feel?
2. Why do you want to have the surgery done? Each person has his own reason for wanting plastic surgery.
* Maybe your siblings always teased you about the size or shape of your nose. Or you just can’t get rid of that pouch in your abdomen no matter how many curls and crunches you do.
* Unfortunately, you might even feel you’re unattractive or different in a negative way than others because of your looks.
* Whatever your reason is, it will matter and affect you psychologically after the surgery is completed.
3. How do you feel about yourself? Your self-esteem is intricately connected to how you feel about your looks, strengths, and weaknesses. It will be helpful for you to have a good understanding of what you think and feel about yourself, and perhaps to do some preliminary work to enhance your self-esteem before undergoing surgery. Plus, the doctor will find this information important as well.
4. How do you expect your life to change after you receive the surgery? Interestingly, you might think you’re going to have a lot more friends or become the center of attention at work. Perhaps you think you won’t feel so paranoid about how people look at you anymore. Start looking at your deep expectations and do the analysis beforehand so that you can tell what’s realistic and what isn’t.
* Realistic and optimistic expectations will likely serve you well throughout the process. Consider researching the experiences of other people who have undergone the same procedure you want and see their results – the good and the not-so-good.
5. Do you have a history of any mental health issues? Your cosmetic surgeon will want to ensure that any past mental struggles won’t have a negative impact on your adjustments to possible changes in your life due to the surgery.
6. How are your personal and social relationships now? Do you have emotional support to see you through the process? Are you undergoing surgery because of pressure from someone else?
7. Do you think your relationships might change? How? Take some time to look within yourself and reflect on what you hope will happen, in terms of your relationships, as a result of the surgery. Strive to be honest with yourself when addressing this question.
* If you believe you’ll finally be able to make more friends or obtain a life-long partner because of the surgery, your doctor will want to know about it.
The complexities of your beliefs, self-esteem, and feelings largely factor in to a desire to have cosmetic surgery. It’s important to consider all of these psychological issues before making a decision to undergo cosmetic surgery.
When you approach plastic surgery realistically, with a mindset that it’s just part of your overall lifestyle change, you’ll be well on your way to a positive experience.