selfie | ‘I’m afraid to post untouched photos’: Instagram filters affect mental health

“I am terrified of posting a picture of myself without retouching”. The phrase was uttered by Jedet, the actress and “influencer” who has more than 460,000 followers on Instagram. Like her, thousands of social network users are unable to post a photo of themselves that hasn’t undergone a filter that clears acne, refines their chin, enlarges their eyes or leaves them with velvety skin. This click-enhanced version distorts your perception of your face: Increasing insecurity and low self-esteem. And in many cases, the final destination is a beauty clinic to try and make it a reality.

The Self-image suffering Grow up, psychologist Maria CaberoDirector of Public Emotional Culture, he points to social networks as the big motivator: “Photos are no longer filtered by magazines or gossip ads, but by us. We end up comparing that photo to reality, which is always clear to lose”.

From the University of Oklahoma, Kabiru studied “selfie dysmorphism,” a new type of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) that consists of undergoing surgery to resemble the unrealistic image of our selfies. asymmetry of her eyes, nose, cheekbones and mldr; become one Obsession Patients end up going to the operating room when what they need is psychotherapy. “They see flaws and physical changes where there aren’t any,” says Cabero.

Networks and distortions

Psychologist Fernando Azur Thought that social networksincreased distortionsThis is especially dangerous in adolescents and young adults, because they are “people who have not yet taken responsibility for their fears or fears and easily go to surgery to try to resolve them.” This does not mean that the responsible use of nets cannot take place, as the expert points out, but in People with certain obsessive-compulsive or obsessive-compulsive tendencies, will be promoted to the point of shooting or even out of control ” .

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An investigation by the Wall Street Journal revealed internal documents from Meta, the parent company of Instagram, in which the company itself admitted that three out of ten girls say that “when they feel bad about their bodies, Instagram makes them feel bad.”

Many young people with eating disorders go through the practice of Julia Pascual, a health psychologist, as well as dysmorphic of this type. “They spend so many hours on networks that they confuse who they are. In networks, they can escape and build their avatar of perfect perception, using these filters, and fall in love with them. In fact, they can look like crooks, and disappointment can produce isolation. ” explains.

“Plastic surgery should not be demonized, it can be a good solution to improve our self-esteem. But if we provide the surgical solution ahead of time, and if it is not properly evaluated with who, how and where we will do it, This solution can become a big problem” Psychologist explains.

psychological protocols

Pascual used to work with some of the area’s reference surgeons in a two-way fashion, in a kind of inter-consultation exchange to protect the patient. “There are five questions that raise red flags, the psychiatrist explains, and the appropriateness or lack of an aesthetic intervention should depend on their outcome. The problem is Not all plastic surgeons have the same ethical standards. “If they don’t, they go somewhere else that doesn’t have a lot of objections,” says Pasquale.

Cabero is in favor of establishing strict protocols: “I very much doubt there are protocols now, because I feel they are going to lose many clients & rdquor;. Additionally, not all patients show their ailments to non-expert eyes: “Most of the time there is no mental disorder per se, but There is emotional discomfort, and we don’t always know how to deal with it.” For Azor, “It would be reasonable to do some ‘screening’ tests, A kind of general analysis that allows to see if a more detailed examination is needed” Although he warns that “self-report tests can easily be falsified”.

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medical frontier

On the other hand, dermatologist Paloma Borregon thinks so It is the doctors who should set the limits: If we agree to the treatments requested by patients without taking into account the ideal proportions of the face, we end up making disfigured faces, and it remains a psychological problem. They are patients who are uncomfortable with any of the changes being made and are always asking for more and more.

Plastic surgeon Nelida Grande advocates that cosmetic professionals receive “psychological approach sessions to detect dysmorphic disorder” so that a potential psychological problem is not exacerbated. “Aesthetic medicine is above all medicine” the doctor keeps,” and The first ethical rule of medicine is to do no harm& rdquo;.

Dangers of “snooping”

In December 2021, Sarah decided to have liposuction at the age of 39 in a private center. Several weeks later, Sarah died in hospital from injuries sustained during the operation. The family speaks of neglect and assures that the doctor who treated her was not a specialist in aesthetic medicine, but cardiovascular medicine. Congress approved an illegal motion urging the government to coordinate with the Autonomous Communities on the need to make the title of medical professional mandatory.

According to SEME data, Only two out of ten patients ask for the kidney number who treats. Dr. Vega refers to young people as being most likely to “fell into the hands of unauthorized individuals” because of their age, which makes them less critical and more credible, because they are the ones who spend the most time on social networks and because they have smaller economies.

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One of those “influencers” who openly talked about plastic surgery on her channels, Rosario Matthew, also used this channel to tell how, at the age of 19, she suffered the consequences of a wrong intervention.

“I didn’t have much money and wanted my lips now, wherever and however it is. I found a half secret website that puts lips on for 160 euros and there I went” explained. The result was inflammation and inflammation of the tissues. “In the end, you’re putting products and substances into your body that probably haven’t even passed the sanitary oversight” Nélida Vega insists.

The surgeon regrets thatOr there is a clear list In Aesthetic Medicine: A doctor with a master’s degree can actually practice it. Another thing is plastic and reconstructive surgery, which must be within the specific MIR training of a surgeon who wants to practice it: “You have to ask for surnames at any hospital’s”Claim.

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