I often see patients in consult for cosmetic plastic surgery who are crippled by low self esteem. They can barely look me in the eye, are timid, and are embarrassed to even let me look at them for the purpose of a physical examination. My heart breaks for these women, and I work extremely hard to make the experience at Yager Esthetics one of healing and support.
The reasons for low self esteem rarely stem from the actual physical defects that they have or perceive. It comes from a childhood of being emotionally and psychologically abused, and sometimes even physical or sexual abuse. This leads to a feeling of shame and low self worth. These unhealthy feelings attract the wrong kind of people, and a thoughtless or abusive spouse or partner feeds off of this negativity to further cripple the person.
I am very clear with my patients that I am there to help them correct the physical defects that they possess, and offer support and encouragement to show them that they are worthwhile people. I also tell them that surgery is not the answer to fixing a cheating spouse, or improving their social life. It will not get them a better job, or make their family dynamic change.
I am encouraged by the many cases I have where the physical improvement has indeed changed the way in which the patient views herself, and has lead to them breaking unhealthy patterns in their lives. They carry themselves differently, dress differently, and are suddenly empowered to remove the negative influences from their lives.
In some cases, I decline to operate until they see a counselor or other professional to make sure that they are safe and in a proper state to undergo surgery. It is unfortunately not the usual patient who agrees, but some do. The improvement in the emotional well being of the patient sometimes overrides the need for plastic surgery, which does not bother me at all. Being a Plastic Surgeon to me is all about helping people look and feel their best, and if I can do it without surgery, then I have really made a difference.