12 February 2009

When I heard about the new TV show on Living, Rehab, which had an episode featuring Alicia Douvall I made sure to set aside some time last night to watch it - after all I wanted to see what she was all about. And even though it was sad and hard to watch in places I'm glad I did. I hope lots of other people did to and saw how dangerous addiction can be.Alicia has had the kind of life that most of us can only dream of, but for her much of it has played out like some kind of nightmare. Suffering from low self esteem yet wanting to make it in the world of modelling, Alicia had her first breast augmentation at the age of 17 and since then has undergone so many cosmetic surgeries that she's lost count - although it's thought to be over a hundred. It soon became obvious that she was suffering an addiction, one that has been linked to body dysmorphia, and doctors in the UK refused to treat her. However this didn't stop Alicia, who flew to the US for treatment - and received it. This makes me so sad - these so called surgeons should have known better. I'm glad that I work somewhere where the doctors look out for problems like hers and would refuse to treat her if they thought she was at any risk. Luckily, the Living TV programme has given Alicia the chance to see the light and intensive therapy sessions at the Passages Addiction Centre in Malibu have helped her understand her problems. These days, Alicia is looking forward to a more hopeful future as she learns to live with her condition and overcome her addiction with the help of professionals - I just hope that no other fragile young women are able to fall into the same trap. Her story is a warning to us all that only reputable cosmetic surgeons should be trusted with your health.