If you have been keeping track of the news, you have witnessed the world being flipped on its head with the sudden onset of COVID-19. This ongoing health crisis was nothing we could have expected and is causing industry-wide disruptions all over the globe. Non-essential businesses have been ordered to close, including many elective or cosmetic surgery offices. Our treatment centers provide one time and follow-up procedures. Patients of ours can receive ongoing treatments such as injectable dermal fillers. Having cosmetic surgery offices closed means that these types of treatments will not receive their proper follow-up until later in the future. While this can be difficult for most, it especially impacts those with mental health conditions, specifically body dysmorphic disorder. This ongoing crisis can exacerbate mental health conditions while we deal with the uncertainty of it all. Gemma Sharp, a clinical psychologist from Monash University, recognizes how the current lockdown is impacting individuals with body dysmorphic disorder. This type of mental health disorder typically impacts 1% to 2% of the entire population. However, approximately 15% of individuals who have received cosmetic procedures can be impacted by body dysmorphic disorder.
The symptoms and impact of body dysmorphic disorder can vary for each individual. Dr. Sharp is currently raising concerns regarding individuals who may be prone to severe symptoms. These individuals may come to the point of attempting to create their own cosmetic treatments at home using any kind of materials they have access to. Not only is this a dangerous line of thinking, but it can be lethal. Cosmetic treatments such as injectable fillers are a proven success when in trained hands. Licensed clinicians receive the proper training and have access to laboratory tested materials.
Another potential fear for individuals with body dysmorphic disorder is them completely isolating themselves to hide their appearance. This type of isolation can cause symptoms of depression to increase. Understanding this concern is a necessity in times like this where we can often forget about how each patient may be dealing with COVID-19 differently.
The rise of do it yourself treatments is not just observed in the United States but all around the world. Australia alone spends over $350 million each year on injectable treatments that help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Another clinician who has been studying body image is Dr. Oates, who believes now is a great time to start screening all patients for mental health. A better understanding of the prevalence of mental health can help the cosmetic industry best serve its patients. Dr. Oates recommends a regular screening tool to be added to every initial consultation. These types of screenings can help identify body dysmorphic disorder and any other mental health condition that impacts our patients.
One would think that an area notorious for cosmetic treatments would be more prone to body dysmorphic disorder, but the opposite has been seen in Gold Coast, a settlement that is part of Queensland. One local practitioner, Laura Malceski, has been noticing a trend with her patients. She reports that most of her patients are shifting away from their physical appearances during this time. Instead, they are placing value into community-wide concern for the COVID-19 outbreak. Ms. Malceski believes a common holistic approach among citizens of Gold Coast has an impact. Her skills from being a registered nurse has help clinical triaging for potential cases of COVID-19 in the area. She believes that a continued holistic approach is beneficial to any community. During times of social isolation and distancing symptoms of depression can increase. Ms. Malceski recommends for individuals to continue following healthy diets and find a regular exercise routine to battle depression.
As shown, many individuals can be at risk for mental health difficulties when exposed to social isolation. Make sure to take care of yourself during this tough time for everyone. Following a healthy diet and regular exercise schedule as Ms. Malceski recommends can help your body feel great. It is critical to find the mental health assistance you need when dealing with body dysmorphic disorder on your own.
We understand that your cosmetic treatment may be the last thing on your mind now. However, the COVID-19 health crisis will soon be over and with it our offices will be fully open again. Schedule your free consultation today for a virtual discussion with one of our clinicians. Our procedures are in the hands of trained professionals for a positive experience anytime of the year.