Model Famous for Size Triple-K Breasts Reportedly Comatose After Suicide Attempt
Model who lost her famous implants is now apparently in a coma.
Feb. 18, 2011— -- Sheyla Hershey, the Brazilian model famous for her size triple-K breasts she got after undergoing 18 surgeries, is reportedly comatose after she attempted suicide for the second time, according to British media reports.
The Sun newspaper said Hershey was distraught after doctors had to remove her implants several months ago after a life-threatening infection.
Her husband, Derek, who lives with his wife and their two children near Houston, told the paper doctors don't know when she'll wake from her coma.
After her implants were removed, Hershey told Houston's Fox affiliate she was trying to accept her body without her famous bosom, but still longs for her bombshell body.
"I'm ready to get my breasts back and take my life back," she said. On her website, there was even a call for donations so she could get her implants again.
Although they don't know Hershey and didn't evaluate her, medical experts told ABC News that a person's preoccupation with what he or she sees as a flaw in physical appearance is a hallmark of body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD.
"BDD patients are extremely distressed by these flaws that others can't see or are very minor," said Sabine Wilhelm, director of the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "This preoccupation gets in the way of having a good life. It gets in the way of social functioning, working -- all areas of functioning can be affected."
They typically obsess over more than one body part and ruminate over their perceived flaws for several hours a day. They also tend to ritualistically look at themselves in the mirror.
People with BDD will often seek treatment not from a mental health professional but from a different type of practitioner.
"They very often go to cosmetic surgeons or dermatologists because they are convinced there is something wrong with the way they look. They don't see that they have an internal problem," said Wilhelm.
"We've found in our research in two different studies that about three-quarters of people with BDD seek cosmetic treatment and about two-thirds of them actually get it, and they may go to many doctors to try and get it," said Dr. Katharine Phillips, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University's Alpert School of Medicine in Providence, R.I.
"Studies have shown that as many as 48 percent of people with BDD seek cosmetic treatments," she said.
Wilhelm added that many plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists still don't recognize the signs of BDD because the disorder may mask itself as something else.
"Patients may present with symptoms of depression or social anxiety," she said. "The very first thing people should look for is the extreme distress BDD patients often have."