Most people look in the mirror and pick out their flaws — my nose is too big, I’ve got too many wrinkles, I don’t like the shape of my chin, I’m too fat, etc. Even though we don’t like everything about our appearance, the majority of individuals don’t let it ruin their day.
Sadly, there are some people that can’t just let it go. Diagnosing body dysmorphic disorder is tricky, because the flaw they see may be real or imagined and it is a lifelong battle with no real cure.
This post provides more insight into what goes on in the mind of someone with body dysmorphia:
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
They can’t control their negative thoughts and don’t believe people who tell them that they look fine. Their thoughts may cause severe emotional distress and interfere with their daily functioning. They may miss work or school, avoid social situations and isolate themselves, even from family and friends, because they fear others will notice their flaws.
They may even undergo unnecessary plastic surgeries to correct perceived imperfections, never finding satisfaction with the results.
Here’s the original post: Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA
We’ve all known someone who seems to never quite be satisfied with their look, even if they are drop-dead gorgeous. Here in America where looks are so overly emphasized, especially with celebrities, it makes it difficult to accept imperfections.
Certain disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are part of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). These psychologically impairing issues require therapy to overcome and are a lifelong battle.
This video is somewhat long, but it is a very interesting documentary on BDD and how it affects a person’s everyday life:
The video was done in 2014, and at that time there were over four million people in the U.S. with varying levels of BDD. Today that number is estimated as high as 7.5 million or 1 in about every 50 people.
Unfortunately, the number of people diagnosed with body dysmorphia may be higher than mentioned. A lot of people have cosmetic surgeries performed, but the tendency for someone with BDD to seek cosmetic procedures to remedy their defects isn’t always recognized as unusual.
Many people with self-image issues try numerous cosmetic procedures to try and fix themselves. They will get temporary satisfaction from the surgery, but the positive feeling goes away quite quickly when another blemish is discovered to obsess over.
A person’s inside perception of their body is many times something that isn’t shared with others, so they continue to get more anxiety and depression sets in, making the problem worse.
Most California cosmetic surgeons are attune to watching for the signs of this disorder and tend to refer them to get psychological help. However, some patients are able to hide it better than others.
This article discusses more on this issue from the surgeons point of view:
Body dysmorphic disorder may be under-diagnosed in patients seeking cosmetic procedures
Most patients with BDD seek plastic surgery or other cosmetic procedures. However, they are generally dissatisfied with the results, often causing them to desire further procedures. As a result, BDD is considered a “contra-indication” for cosmetic procedures. About 70 percent of survey respondents said they would refuse to perform cosmetic procedures in a patient they suspected of having BDD.
Plastic surgeons were more likely to refer patients to a psychiatrist or psychologist and to refuse treatment in a patient with BDD, compared to the other groups of cosmetic professionals. About 16 percent of cosmetic professionals reported verbal altercations, while six percent received legal threats.
See the full post here: Body dysmorphic disorder may be under-diagnosed in patients seeking cosmetic procedures
If you’ve never suffered from any type of body image disorder, you are lucky. It also makes it harder to understand what goes on in a person’s head that has. Being compassionate and positive with others can go a long way in helping build their self esteem.