To recognize potential mental health issues among people getting fillers, cosmetic clinics should screen patients before giving treatments.
The National Health Service of England (NHS) made its stance clear: the cosmetic industry was doing little to stop people with body image obsessions from going under the needle. In response to this, the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCPP) has decided to mandate its member clinics to introduce new practices that will help protect patients from potentially harmful treatments.
“Appearance is one of the things that matter most to young people, and the bombardment of idealized images and availability of quick-fix procedures is helping fuel a mental health and anxiety epidemic,” says Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England’s medical director.
“The lack of tough checks on cosmetic procedures means that the public is dependent on businesses taking voluntary steps to get their house in order, leaving people avoidably exposed to dangerous practices,” added Powis.
Indeed, some people who are obsessed with cosmetic surgery might have mental health problems under the surface. With the advent of social media and aesthetic treatments readily available, society’s unrealistic beauty standards may cause negative mental effects on some people. Mental problems might occur such as anxiety, depression, and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), among others.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder: A Brief Description
People with BDD often find faults in some parts of their body, albeit these defects may only be minor or nonexistent, even. BDD patients also experience distress and difficulty functioning, as they may obsess about their appearance for hours. However, even after cosmetic treatments, BDD patients remain unsatisfied with their appearance. About one in 50 people have BDD.
Kitty Wallace, the trustee of the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation, says, “Studies show that fewer than 10% of patients with BDD are satisfied with the results of cosmetic procedures. Although their anxiety might ease temporarily, they will often find themselves fixating on another part of their body that they want to change.”
Initiating the Shift to Mental Health Awareness Prior to Cosmetic Procedures
Wallace commends the NHS and JCPP for taking steps in recognizing vulnerable people before going through with cosmetic surgeries.
“It’s great to see the NHS and professionals leading the sea change, but we now need all parts of society to change their attitudes and take action to protect vulnerable individuals. It is important that these measures are in place to protect such individuals from potentially damaging and unnecessary procedures,” she says.
However, not all cosmetic clinics are members of the JCPP. Thus, these non-members are not required to follow the new practices being introduced. Currently, only 100 out of 1,000 practitioners are registered. Lots of clinics out there are still operating on their own laws since the cosmetic industry is self-regulated. Powis encourages all clinics that provide services such as fillers and Botox to join the council.
Once a clinic is a registered JCPP member, its practitioners will undergo training to recognize the symptoms of mental ill health and psychology of appearance. When customers show signs of vulnerability, they would be directed to consult NHS mental health services.
When getting any aesthetic treatments or surgeries, consulting with licensed medical experts is a must. Make sure that you’re entrusting yourself to clinics that have extra safety measures in place. The doctors of Courthouse Clinics would be happy to assist you with your cosmetic needs.