Do you think that the behaviour known as bullying might lead to a health problem? Interestingly enough, it often does. The condition known as body dysmorphia is often brought about by someone focusing too much mental energy on one part of the body and finding that they cannot alter it enough to meet their standards.
Here is an example:
A high school girl of 15 is told that her nose is “huge”. She knows by looking at her other family members that the family does have a tendency towards protruding and even slightly “hooked” noses. This makes her quite miserable. The bully at school keeps reminding her of her “ugly” appearance each day and soon this girl has decided that she absolutely must get the nose fixed.
Her parents want the girl to stop hating herself and agree. One surgery leads to another, and then a third because the girl just feels that the nose is getting uglier and uglier. This, however, is all inaccurate and is a case of body dysmorphia brought about by bullying.
The Cautionary Tale
We tell this to you because it is imperative to understand that bullying is now such a massive and widespread issue that anyone can become a victim. And we mention this because so many people have started changing their appearances because of constant bullying.
Just consider the ways that people are currently experiencing bullying:
- Social networks
- In school or work
- Even in their own family
This tells us that there is literally no way that we can escape bullying, and if that negative attention is directed at our appearance it is only a matter of time before we ourselves start to believe the lies.
For example, the girl in question is a perfect example of the end results of bullying. She had to hear from the bullies, from her friends, through social networks, and even in her daily commute to school that her “oh so offensive” nose was not acceptable. This was all ridiculous, and even her surgeon told her that there was nothing structurally wrong with her nose. The septum was great, respiration was uninterrupted, and nothing was needed to keep the nose functioning optimally.
Sadly, so much of that changed when she did get the surgery because too many surgeries can lead to deterioration of the tissue. We have all seen what happens when celebrities get a little too fixated on their lips or their noses. And a good surgeon would never allow such a thing to occur.
Choosing a Surgeon
So, this means that we cannot take a bully at their word, and we must certainly work only with a physician who gives us an accurate response to the request for cosmetic work. While it is a matter of free choice to get something like rhinoplasty (nose surgery) done, a good doctor will advise against it if it is clear that body dysmorphia is at work.
For example, if the patient is under the age of 18, a physician is going to ask them to seriously consider the long term impact of the choice to alter their own appearance. They might also ask the patient to discuss when and why they decided to make the decision. In the example of the girl being bullied, the physician may have failed to ask the girl precisely why she decided to alter her nose. Perhaps if that doctor knew that the girl’s view of herself he or she might have advised her against it and instead instructed her to wait and even consult a counsellor to discuss the matter.
If any of this sounds familiar, it is best to wait until the bullying has stopped to make a decision.