What is it like to suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
Dr. Vivekanand N Bhat
Lavelle road, Bengaluru Jan 7, 2019
No one is perfect! Having a flaw is a part of being human, but when the tiny flaws like big thighs, a crooked nose or unevenly gapped teeth are all you can think about, then you might be suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) or dysmorphophobia is a mental disorder which is characterized by the obsessive nature of a person regarding the idea of some aspect of his/her body part or appearance being extremely flawed and goes through exceptional measures to hide or fix their dysmorphic part.
We all have something in our body that we don’t like and try to get rid of it, this is normal. But a person suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder thinks about their real or assumed flaws all day long (spend hours in fixing/hiding it). They don’t believe in others favorable opinion regarding their defects and ends up severely distressed because of the flaws.
What are the signs and symptoms of BDD?
The obsessions regarding their flaws can last for hours or up to an entire day. BDD obsessions can be hard to control making them difficult to focus on anything but their imperfections. As a result, this may create problems at work or school, lower self-esteem/self-confidence, and avoidance of social situations.
It has been seen that people with BDD commonly suffer from other mental disorders like anxiety disorder, depression, eating disorders, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) which can lead to a lot of health issues.
BDD sufferers may perform some type of try to hide or improve their flaws although this behaviour usually gives only temporary relief.
Examples of the compulsive or repetitive behaviour shown by people suffering from BDD are:
- Repetitive plastic surgeries
- Camouflaging with excessive makeup or hairdo
- Checking in a mirror repetitively or in few causes avoiding mirrors completely
- Excessive grooming
- Comparing the flawed body part to others
- Excessive exercise
- Skin picking
Is there any treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)?
If you or your child is facing any such symptoms of BDD, then we suggest you get help from a professional.
If you are entirely preoccupied with your flawed appearance so much that it interferes with your concentration and focus in your daily activities or behaviours then, here is what you can try:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you recognize the irrational thoughts and change the negative thinking patterns.
- Antidepressant medications, under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
For better treatment, many doctors recommend using a combination of treatments tailored to each patient. Therefore, talk to your healthcare specialist at the earliest!