We know that addiction can go beyond drug use, but are we becoming addicted to making our bodies perfect?
I put “addiction” in parentheses here because I think it’s important to distinguish substance-related addictions from behavioral ones. There’s no doubt that people’s behavior can become compulsive in the same way addicts become compulsive about using, but I’ve seen no evidence that behavioral addictions interfere with brain function in the way that cocaine, methamphetamine, and opiates alter actual brain mechanisms.
Still, this recent trend of obsessive plastic surgery is a dual-headed “addiction”, one that is both physical and social. In many ways, people are now able to change aspects of their being that were once thought unalterable including their own physical appearances. To gain social acceptance, if you have money, you now have new tools!
This may also play a big role for those who are love addicted, at least if they have money… Continue reading “Body image and medicalization: Socially relevant behavioral “addictions” beyond drug use”