Do I Have Body Dysmorphic Disorder(BDD)?

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Body dysmorphia

I am sure all of you will agree that there is at the least one part of your body that you don’t like very much. I do not like my nose but that doesn’t bother me much. People with body dysmorphia can’t handle even the slightest of flaws that they think they have.

You might know at least one person who is obsessed over a flaw or ‘supposed flaw’ that they are constantly trying to fix. Well, they might be dealing with body dysmorphic disorder. Body dysmorphia makes you think like you are flawed even when you aren’t.

Did you know that there is at least 1 in every 50 people who might have body dysmorphia. And that’s exactly how I know that one such person must have crossed paths with you. Not everyone is affected severely, some of them can treat their condition by themselves too.

Let’s get to know about body dysmorphia in detail…

What Is Body Dysmorphia Or Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)?

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Body dysmorphia or body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition where you believe that you have some imperfections and you need to fix them. Such people are never satisfied with how they look or how certain parts of their body is shaped.

Body dysmorphia is a pervasive perception about your body that it is highly imperfect. Even when others try to tell them that you look perfectly fine they will never believe you and continue dwelling on their perceived negative appearance.

In most cases there are no flaws in that person but they just don’t seem to understand. Body dymorphia overpowers their ability to think straight. Such people are sometimes obsessing over a tiny imperfection that is not even noticeable to other people.

Basically, they feel embarrassed about things that others can’t even notice!

Symptoms of Body Dysmorphia

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The symptoms can be easily identified. Let’s see what are those:

  • They are obsessed with their body being flawed (real or perceived)
  • There is social avoidance because they feel embarrassed about their looks.
  • You can see declining self-esteem.
  • There is a visible problem in concentration in school or at work
  • They find it difficult to focus on anything other than their flaw
  • They might go to any lengths to hide or correct their flaws including plastic surgery.
  • Constantly check themselves in the mirror or completely avoid the mirror
  • Might have conditions like excoriation
  • They will change their clothes frequently

People with body dysmorphic disorder are usually obsessed with their face, body type or hair. Their entire focus is not trying to rectify those body parts which they think are ill shaped or colored or have marks.

DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Body Dysmorphic Disorder

A. Preoccupation with one or more perceived defects or flaws in physical appearance that are not observable or appear slight to others.

B. At some point during the course of the disorder, the individual has performed repetitive behaviors (e.g., mirror checking, excessive grooming, skin picking, reassurance seeking) or mental acts (e.g., comparing his or her appearance with that of others) in response to the appearance concerns.

C. The preoccupation causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other areas of functioning.

D. The appearance preoccupation is not better explained by concerns with body fat or weight in an individual whose symptoms meet diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder.

The above information is sourced from: Diagnostic and statistical manual for mental health disorders, version V.

Treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder

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If you think you might have developed body dysmorphic disorder you need not worry anymore. There are various treatment options available for your condition such as:

  1. Psychotherapy: Since there are a lot of false beliefs about your body and the way you look, psychotherapies like cognitive behavioral therapy. They work really well for disorders like body dysmorphia.
  2. Group or family therapy: Family and friends have a great role to play when it comes to such mental health conditions of dysmorphia. It is important for the family to understand your conditions and know the symptoms of body dysmorphia.
  3. Medication: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have proven to be very helpful in treating body dysmorphic disorder. Antipsychotic and antidepressants have also been effective for this treatment.

I hope you found this blog helpful. Do share it with your friends and family too. Body dysmorphia is a very common disorder and being informed about this condition can be very helpful for the sufferers and their families.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

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