Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is more than a body image issue. It is normal to feel a little conscientious about the way you look whether you wish you had a smaller nose, a tighter stomach, or have smooth, wavy locks. We may think about these things sometimes or when special occasions come up. People with BDD, on the other hand, think of real or imaginary flaws for hours daily, causing severe emotional distress.

Distracting thoughts can leave those with BDD missing work or school, avoiding social situations, and isolating themselves because they are ashamed of letting their flaws go noticed. This can involve spending thousands of dollars in plastic surgeries and still never being satisfied with the results. BDD is not to be taken lightly as this disorder can ruin your health and your social life.

BDD patients tend to find fault with their hair, skin, nose, chest, or stomach. According to the American Psychiatric Association, this disorder can develop in adolescents and teens with 2.5% being males and 2.2% being females. The cause of BDD is unknown but one theory suggests the malfunctioning of serotonin in the brain as well as personality traits and certain traumatic experiences like child maltreatment or sexual trauma.

These obsessions can be thought of all day and those with BDD cannot focus on anything but these “imperfections.” There are even those that never leave home or have thoughts of suicide from the shame they feel. BBD can cause people to do things to hide their appearance such as over-accessorizing themselves, checking in mirrors all the time or not at all, and changing clothes excessively. Then there are drastic actions taken to hide themselves such as spending thousands in procedures and surgeries and with unsatisfying results as well as skin picking, excessive exercising, and comparing body parts to other people’s.

In order for those with BDD to be free of these negative thoughts that are taking over their minds, there are various methods of treatment. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will teach patients to recognize irrational thoughts, change negative thinking patterns, and being able to identify unhealthy ways of thinking and behaving to see themselves positively. Antidepressants include serotonin re-uptake inhibitors to relieve obsessive compulsive symptoms. BDD patients need to be aware that no one is perfect and achieving perfection by damaging your health is not the way to go but seeking treatment will give them a better outlook on life.

 

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