My Makeover Didn't Work: Debra

My Makeover Didn't Work: Debra
Dr. Phil speaks with guests madeover on the outside but not the inside.
In three years, Debra has had 15 cosmetic procedures, including: eyes, nose, chin, cheeks, lips, neck, breasts. She thought she'd end up looking like Pamela Anderson, but she didn't.


"I don't feel better about myself physically," says Debra. "I look in the mirror and I don't see a pretty girl." Still unsatisfied, Debra wears hats and sunglasses — even in the house. "Nobody has to see me. I feel I look younger that way."


Wanting to make herself look better became an addiction, and put Debra in financial ruin. "It put me in bankruptcy and I still feel unattractive," she says. She wants Dr. Phil to help her understand why she kept getting surgery to look like someone else.


Her husband, John, says Debra is very jealous and won't let him watch certain television shows because of the pretty women in them. "I think she is very good looking," says John. "I am against her getting more [surgery.] She was fine just the way she was," he says.
Dr. Phil asks Debra if she's thinking of getting more surgery in the future. She admits that she'd consider Botox again, and perhaps a face lift in the future. "But I want to do it for the right reasons and I want to be able to afford it," she says.


Dr. Phil goes over her surgery list: Nose job, cheek implants, chin implants, lip implants, liposuction under the chin, liposuction in the neck, fixed nose job, fixed fallen chin implant three times, breast implants, bigger breast implants, final chin replacement, face lift, Botox injections.


He asks her if any of her surgeons talked to her about her multiple surgeries instead of cutting her open — again. "They needed to save you from yourself," says Dr. Phil. "You're trying to solve psychological issues with non-psychological solutions. If you're looking in the mirror and saying, 'I really don't like me. I don't like the way I look.' It really doesn't have anything to do with the image in the mirror. It has to do with the filter through which you're looking. And if that doesn't change, you're never going to be happy."

Dr. Phil explains that there are right and wrong reasons to get elective surgery. "I get the feeling that if there's not some role in your life that you're proud of, then you're going to keep searching for something. And you've chosen to search in a very superficial way. Did it ever occur to you that that's not what is going to make your mark and your legacy in this world?" he asks.


"Yes," admits Debra.


"So what would happen if you decided to focus on that instead of your appearance?" asks Dr. Phil.


"It would probably give me more self-esteem," says Debra.


Dr. Phil asks her what she's most passionate about in her life. Debra says she wants a career and she wants to see her children do well. Dr. Phil points out to her that reinventing herself with surgery does not impact the world at all, but raising three healthy children did.

Debra admits that she'll probably seek out more surgery at a later date. "What you need is to be honest with yourself. You're not being honest with yourself by saying, 'Yes, I will continue to destroy my body.' You don't want to do that. You are over-operated at this point. They are now operating on operations," says Dr. Phil.


He continues: "You asked me a question. You asked, 'Why did I do this?' And I said because you were trying to fix self-esteem problems with some type of superficial surgical fix. And those self-esteem problems still exist, as you're telling me that you're going to get some more surgeries in the future. And I'm telling you, if you do, you're making a mistake," says Dr. Phil. "You obviously can't handle this without getting into an addictive relationship. And any surgeon who would operate on you at this point is damn irresponsible in my view. And you shouldn't do it."