Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a body image disorder characterized by persistent thinking and worrying about one or more perceived defects or minor flaws in your appearance. The impact of BDD on a person’s quality of life is going to be significant and severe.
BDD affects a person’s life in the following manner:
- The person may find it hard to maintain a relationship.
- The person may find it impossible to make regular employment or family life.
- They can dislike any part of their body.
- They have a strong feeling that their defects make them ugly or deformed.
- They may feel slight imperfections or perceived defects as significant or prominent.
- They might have severe emotional distress and difficulties in daily functioning.
- They cannot control their negative thoughts.
- They may socially isolate themselves due to the fear that others may notice their flaws.
- They have low self-esteem.
- They may also suffer from anxiety, depression, eating disorders, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- They might require frequent reassurance that they look fine.
- They have perfectionist tendencies.
- They might make a constant comparison with others.
Some of the compulsive and repetitive behaviors, which these people exhibit include:
- Avoiding mirrors
- Excessive grooming
- Excessive exercise
- Seeking cosmetic surgery
- Checking in mirrors
- Changing clothes excessively
- Comparing with supermodels
- Camouflaging (with body position, clothing, makeup, hair, hats, etc.)
- Skin picking to make it smooth
- They feel their skin with the fingers
BDD can also lead to:
- Major depression or other mood disorders
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
- Substance misuse
- Eating disorders
- Physical pain or risk of disfigurement
What is body dysmorphic disorder?
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a body image disorder characterized by persistent thinking and worrying about one or more perceived defects or minor flaws in your appearance. People with BDD may think about the perceived or real flaws for hours each day. They find it hard to control their negative feelings and don’t believe people who tell positive things about them. They may like to live in isolation due to fear of being judged by others.
Which parts of the body are involved in BDD?
People with BDD are commonly preoccupied with some aspect of their face, and many believe they have multiple defects. The most common body parts include:
- Overall body build
Overall, people with BDD complain of a lack of symmetry or feel that something is too big, too small, or out of proportion compared to other body parts.
How does BDD affect emotion?
BDD causes emotional distress, such as:
Even if their concern is related to the appearance; however, their distress is real.
How to treat BDD?
The physician treats BDD in either of the two ways:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: It helps to control all the negative thoughts, emotional reactions, and behaviors.
- Medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may help to resolve the problems related to the brain chemical serotonin.
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