Why Getting Breast Implants Is Linked to a Higher Risk of Suicide

doctor with breast implantWhat runs through your head when you see a woman who's gotten breast implants? "Lucky her," maybe. "Those definitely do NOT look real," perhaps. Or maybe you just wondered what the price tag was. Well, those curves come with a serious cost, according to new research that shows women with breast enhancement are three times more likely to take their own lives.


According to a new study published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery, women who go under the knife to perfect their chests are more likely to take their own lives or die from alcohol or drug dependence 10 years after their surgeries.

It's a startling revelation, and one that begs the question: But why?

After all, their breasts probably look awesome.

"It's possible that this research highlights the suspected notion that some women who seek to alter their bodies are psychologically compromised in a way that women who don't seek plastic surgery are not," says Hillary Goldsher, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills, California.

In other words, women who seek breast implants may "hunger for external validation and need a constant stream of it to feel safe and secure in the world," says Paul Hokemeyer, PhD, a licensed marriage and family therapist based in Los Angeles and New York City. "The problem is, there is never enough."

More from The Stir: What Getting Breast Implants Is Really Like: One Woman's Story

If low self-worth and inferiority are behind a woman's decision to make drastic changes to her breasts, she's in for disappointment. No matter how spectacular they look, the attention she gets from them won't last.

"What likely happens in the years that follow the procedure is a discovery that changing the outside does not truly impact how one feels on the inside in any sustaining or deep-seated way," Goldsher says. "So, these vulnerable women continue to suffer without intervention that could result in a real shift in how one moves through the world."

"It's an exhausting way to live, and as we see far too often, leads down a path of self-mutilation to self-annihilation," agrees Hokemeyer.

It's not hyperbole. Researchers of the study go so far as to advise plastic surgeons to consider doing mental health screenings before operating on women.

And that might be the best way to go. After all, you don't want to just change your body, but your feelings about yourself, too.


Please call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in case you are worried about yourself or someone else.

Image via poplasen/iStock

Read More >