Body Dysmorphic Disease

Focus on one’s appearance is always present in today’s society.  It is important to look our best when going out in public.  Everyone tends to have something on their body they don’t like and would like to change.  This is completely normal. It can help us strive to be healthier, or exercise more to try and tone our bodies up.  When we scrutinize our bodies though to where it starts to affect our daily life in a negative way is when we start to get into trouble.  The obsessive focus on one body part that we feel is flawed is called Body Dysmorphic disorder, or BDD.  Body Dysmorphic disease is a mental illness that causes you to either focus on a body part that you feel is flawed or even imagine something being flawed.  This mental illness affects about 200,000 people every year. 

What is different about wanting something in your body to be different and actually having BDD?  The main thing to know if you suffer from BDD is that it consumes you.  It takes over your thoughts, what you decide to do during the day, and may cause you to turn down social situations because you are so uncomfortable with your body part you aren’t happy with.  People who suffer from BDD may spend hours in front of the mirror looking at their appearance, or tend to spend a lot of time grooming.  They may also look for constant approval in their appearance from others.  

When someone has an eating disorder they are focused on weight and overall physique.  The trouble with BDD is you are solely focused on one body part.  This body part could be your nose, hair, muscle tone, blemishes, or inner thighs.  Some people with BDD will look to plastic surgery to help fix their flaw.  They will get a tad bit of relief and satisfaction after the plastic surgery.  But more than likely the obsession will come back on the same body part, that it still isn’t completely perfect and what they are wanting.  This can cause plastic surgery as having a negative affect on you instead of helping with your overall well being.  One of the first signs of BDD to other people could be to your doctor if you continuously want plastic surgery done on the same body part.  

Signs and symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder usually start during the teenage years.  It can be a by-product of low self esteem, or being teased or picked on about one of your features.  If you have a family history of the disorder you have a higher chance of developing it as well.  Other risk factors are for people who have a perfectionist personality, or who suffer from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).  It is more common in women and can be because of social expectations of what beauty truly is.  

It is very hard to diagnose BDD because someone who suffers from it may be extremely shy and embarrassed at talking about it.  It can take a doctor noticing the want for constant plastic surgery.  Or even a family member or friend noticing your constantly looking in the mirror, or how it takes you forever to get ready because you are obsessed with grooming and trying to hide the body part you deem is flawed.  Friends may also notice if you start isolating yourself and not going out with people in social settings. 

Once you have come to terms that you suffer from this disease and try to get help there are ways to manage this disorder.  With disorders they rarely ever completely go away so it takes long term management to make sure they don’t get worse or start negatively affecting your life again.  You can get therapy either personal or in a group.  Make sure you establish a strong support system to help build you up.  In some cases antidepressant medication may be helpful.  Your doctor will be able to help you with the best form of treatment.  Plastic surgery though is not a solution that usually solves this disorder.  It can sometimes even have a negative effect.  

If left untreated Body Dysmorphic Disorder can have a negative effect on your life and lead to suicidal thoughts.  It can also lead to depression.  Anxiety disorders can stem from this disorder as well, when you start to feel anxious about going out with friends.  Body Dysmorphic Disorder can also lead to eating disorders as well or substance abuse.  

Having the feelings that you are flawed, and you can’t stop thinking about your appearance, and it’s impacting your daily life you may want to speak with your doctor.  Taking yourself away from social situations, constantly comparing yourself to others, and scrutinizing your appearance every chance you get are the signs of BDD.  Reach out to your doctor if any of these signs sound like you so you can get help managing this disorder.  

 


Body Dysmorphic disease is a mental illness that causes you to either focus on a body part that you feel is flawed or even imagine something being flawed


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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators.

The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles.

Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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