Women Affected By PIP Breast Implant Scandal 'Psychologically Scarred'

A psychiatric study has revealed that 80% of women affected by the recent Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) breast implant scandal will end up needing psychological counselling as a result of the stress caused.

The study, by the Clinical Partners and led by Richard Sherry, a counselling and clinical psychologist, discovered that nearly half (49%) had missed work due to stress about their potentially faulty implants. A further 40% admitted that their self-esteem had been 'severely' affected.

Over half (68%) confessed to feeling depressed after finding out about the breast implant scandal and a massive 92% admitted to suffering from stress-related insomnia since the news broke.

As a result of the upset caused, a third of women polled (33%) had sought help from a therapist or a doctor and 80% of them feel they will need psychological support in the future.

The participants of the study confessed to "being in tears all the time" and being unable to think about anything but the "alien" inside their body.

"Following a number of enquiries from women seeking support for the emotional issues they were facing following the PIP scare, I felt it was important to understand the greater impact this situation was creating for them and their families," explains Sherry.

"Having a specialist interest in the psychology of cosmetic surgery, I knew that breast in themselves can be complicated embodiments of femininity, sexuality and maternal identity. So when things go wrong, as they have - rather catastrophically in this instance - it can trigger deep levels of anxiety and depression.

"The comments we received in this study really highlight the sever levels of distress being felt by those affected. It is important to foster communities of support," adds Sherry.

These findings follow The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) call for cosmetic surgery adverts to be banned in the wake of the PIP scandal.