So you have come across information about Breast Implant Illness(BII) and are worried for your friend/sister/mother who has implants. Naturally you want them to be healthy and so you send the article with all the information they need.... and they don't do anything about it. What? Why not? Maybe you yourself have even noticed them exhibit some of the symptoms of BII and want them to feel better. How can they not run to a plastic surgeon? Just take them out already, you think. So what is happening with them and how can you best help?
Here are some things to consider when talking to your loved ones about Breast Implant Illness.
Remember it is their body, their money, their tolerance for illness, their body image, and their journey.
Understand that you don't understand what they are going through, physically, emotionally or mentally.
Having another surgery is not an impulse decision.
They are used to their silhouette and identity with breast implants. Getting implants was likely done to fill a gap in their self image, meant to boost their confidence in some way. Whether their reason was to look good in a swimsuit, fix a deformity, reconstruct after a mastectomy, or to land a job. Taking them out now is like taking a part of their current identity. Not such an easy task.
They spent a lot of money on them in the first place, and taking them out will cost even more. They may take them out later when they have the money. Give them time.
They may not even feel sick. Even though it is likely they are being effected by the implants, symptoms vary from person to person and range in intensity. So they may choose to believe they are perfectly fine.
Tips on what to do to help.
Send the information you found. You care about them, and you should send relevant articles. This may be the first time they have ever heard about BII.
Follow-up with them a week later. In this follow-up, you will actively listen to what they have to say. No arguments and no unsolicited opinions.
Leave them alone now. You gave them new information, you showed your concern, and you listened to them. No pushing.
From here, you can attend events that boost self confidence together, share uplifting stories, and engage in healthy activities together.
Lead by example. Get your own health in order. Work on your own self-image. Find where you can do better. That is the only place that you can focus your attentions and get the results you desire.
This can be hard, but really it is up to them to do what is best for them right now. Be the good friend you are, and let them decide. It could change. If they do decide to remove the implants, they may come to you for more information and then you can unload all your gained knowledge. No 'I told you sos' required.