While there isn’t direct proof that being more attractive improves your quality of life, the opposite is true: Worrying about your appearance can diminish the enjoyment you get out of life. A recent study performed by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital found that just the fear of being rejected because of one’s appearance can have a significant impact on quality of life. This effect is highlighted in the psychological disorder Body Dismorphic Disorder (BDD).
“People with BDD obsess about physical features or attributes that they believe are ugly or hideous, often spending hours looking in the mirror and taking extraordinary measures to try to correct imperfections that only they can see,” Katharine Phillips, M.D., director of the Body Dysmorphic Disorder program at Rhode Island Hospital and senior author of the study, said in a news release. “So they are particularly sensitive to what they believe is rejection from others based on these or other perceived flaws. Generally speaking, no one enjoys being rejected or feeling embarrassed. But for people with BDD, feelings of being rejected by others are exacerbated, sometimes to the point where individuals are debilitated by these concerns, even if the rejection was simply perceived, not real.”
BDD affects individuals regardless of their appearance, causing feelings of shame and doubt over not only their looks but also their ability to perform in social situations. This can cause severe social impairment, causing the afflicted individuals to miss school, work and other social engagements, and have difficulty committing to meaningful relationships.
However, concerns over physical appearance don’t have to become a serious problem. Many people find that cosmetic surgery with quick recovery, or even a minimally-invasive procedure, can have a profound effect on their self-confidence. If you’re consider making a change to your appearance, contact Maryland Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation so we can assist you.