Do you know what Body Dysmorphia is? Sometimes, when we look at ourselves in a mirror, we tend to easily perceive flaws in our appearance and we go to a lot of effort to conceal them by spending a long time applying make-up, using accessories or combing our hair. However, when people focus only on the flaws in their appearance, get obsessed about a specific area of their bodies, and seriously affect their work, social life and relationships and the way they go about their daily lives, we could think it is all because the Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).
The permanent search for aesthetic perfection can lead us to have a distorted perception of our own image and as a result it is possible that all our attention is focused on our personal appearance and on seeking peace of mind through repetitive activities such as looking in the mirror, getting many cosmetic procedures and taking constant baths.
A person who suffers from Body Dysmorphia usually focuses his/her attention on the next physical characteristics:
–Face: nose, skin appearance, wrinkles, acne, among others.
–Hair: appearance, weakening, baldness.
–Muscles: size and tone.
This disorder affects men as well as women and usually goes unnoticed. If you think you are suffering from it, it is vital for you to identify it timely and then start the right treatment.
Identify Signs and Symptoms
Find some Signs and Symptoms that may indicate you are suffering from Body Dysmorphia:
– Extreme worrying about a perceived defect in your appearance that goes unnoticed by others.
– You are convinced you have a defect in your appearance that makes you ugly or deformed.
– You perceive other people pay special attention to your appearance in a negative way.
– You use your style, make-up or clothes to try to hide your perceived defects.
– You often compare your own appearance with that of others.
– You frequently seek others’ approval about your appearance.
– You tend to be a perfectionist.
– You always check your physical appearance in front of a mirror and feel embarrassed, disgusted, hopeless, depressed, upset and anxious.
– Repeatedly perform actions like: picking your skin, cleaning, exercising and changing clothes.
– You prefer to stay at home and be lonely to avoid being seen by others.
If you identify these signs or symptoms, do not feel ashamed and better get Mental Health Professional advice to have a diagnosis and if necessary start a proper treatment. Seeking help should not cause you shame.
Causes of Body Dysmorphia:
Some aspects have been identified as triggers to Body Dysmorphia, find some of them below:
Genes. This disorder tends to be inherited.
Serotonin. A chemical imbalance of serotonin that is produced in the brain is also related to this disorder background.
Brain Differences. Some studies show some parts of the brain are different and work in a different way in people who suffer from Body Dysmorphia.
Keep in mind that Body Dysmorphia is no one’s fault and it is a mental health issue which requires proper treatment.
How is Body Dysmorphia diagnosed and treated?
If you identify signs or symptoms of Body Dysmorphia, it is essential you ask for help from an adult you trust and consult a Mental Health Professional experienced in this area, who will be able to determine if you are indeed suffering from this disorder and then provide you with the right treatment.
There are two ways to treat Body Dysmorphia:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Through Psychotherapy, it is possible to be aware of what a person thinks, test those ideas and refute them, so that, little by little, the person learns how not to be focused on his/her physical appearance with the intention of changing it.
Medication. Some medications are useful to help people to feel less obsessed and anxious regarding their physical appearance.
Many cases complement the use of these both therapies as a treatment for the Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
You may also be interested: Gender Identity Disorder, the pain of living in a body that is not mine
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