Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Condition What is it?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Condition What is it?

Do you look in the mirror and become fixated on a pimple or a scar or other flaw that you perceive on your skin? Or do you worry that your nose looks weird - or that some other part of your body looks flawed or defective?

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a distinct mental disorder in which a person is preoccupied with an imagined physical defect or a minor defect that others often cannot see. As a result, people with this disorder see themselves as "ugly" and often avoid social exposure or turn to plastic surgery to try to improve their appearance.

When these thoughts and feelings become time-consuming and cause significant emotional distress (such as anxiety, sadness, or self-consciousness) and/or significant problems in your daily life — this is body dysmorphic disorder. In addition, at some point, people with BDD also engage in excessive repetitive compulsive behaviors (such as comparing with others or excessively checking mirrors or grooming) in response to the appearance concerns.

BDD is a chronic (long-term) disorder that affects men and women equally. It usually begins during the teen years or early adulthood.

BDD affects how you see yourself and feel about your appearance, and its symptoms can take many forms. Some of the most common include (but aren’t limited to):

  1. Spending excessive amounts of time thinking about at least one thing about your body you think is a “flaw” or “defect,” even though others say it isn’t significant or don’t notice it. This can also cause you to compare your appearance to how other people look.
  2. Feeling compelled to repeatedly look at or check your appearance (using a mirror, a reflective surface like a window or asking others for feedback). On the other hand, some people may actively avoid being in photos or seeing their reflection to avoid the distress they feel seeing their own appearance.
  3. Changing your appearance frequently (tanning, changing your hairstyle, changing clothes, etc.).
  4. Frequently taking selfies (photos of yourself you take with a smartphone) to check your appearance, or using apps/photo filters to hide or change things you don’t like about your appearance.
  5. Feeling fear or anxiety because you think others are staring, judging or making fun of the things you don’t like about your body or appearance. Some people experience panic attacks when looking at things they don’t like about their bodies in a mirror or reflective surface.
  6. Feeling shame or disgust about your body or appearance, especially the specific things you think are problems. Some of the most common words people with BDD use to describe themselves or parts of their body include “ugly,” “hideous,” “deformed,” “abnormal,” “defective” or “unattractive.”
  7. Compulsive grooming behaviors that become harmful, such as plucking or pulling hairs (trichotillomania) or picking at your skin (dermatillomania). These are separate mental health conditions that are distinct from BDD, and they have different treatment approaches.
  8. Avoiding situations where people might notice the things you don’t like about yourself. This can disrupt your work or school activities, or cause you to avoid social gatherings.
  9. Repeated medical procedures, such as cosmetic surgery, to try to “fix” the things you don’t like about your appearance.
  10. Thoughts of self-harm or suicide because of your appearance.

If you experiences symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder, hurts himself or others, is excessively worried about his appearance, immediately contact your favorite doctor.


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