Body Dysmorphic Disorder, 8 things to check.

Body dysmorphic disorder,  first documented in 1886, was originally named “Dysmorphophobia”.

A recent study has shown about 1 -2 % of the population meet the criteria for Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).  Chronic low self-esteem is also characteristic and is found in a larger percentage with milder symptoms.  BDD is sometimes misunderstood as a vanity-driven problem.  But,  it is actually quite the opposite.  People with BDD do not believe themselves to be better looking than everyone else.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder Today :

Check these symptoms if you think it may apply to you :

  1. Preoccupation with physical appearance
  2. Examination of yourself in the mirror frequently
  3. Strong belief that you have an abnormal ugly feature
  4. Think that others note your appearance in a negative way
  5. Avoiding social situations
  6. Frequent cosmetic procedures
  7. Excessive grooming or exercise to improve the flaw
  8. Reluctance to appear in pictures

Locations of perceived flaws (most common) :

  • Skin (73%)
  • Hair (56%)
  • Nose (37%)
  • Weight (22%)
  • Stomach (22%)
  • Breasts / Chest (21%)

Help is available :

Treatment is available,  and it is most likely to work if you are a willing and active participant in the therapy.  For example, cognitive behavioral therapy may be a good place to start.  Also, medications that are useful in treating depression may be beneficial.  Since body dysmorphic disorder is a complex illness,  treatment may be difficult at first,  but gradually you will improve.  You can learn more and gain insights by reading how others have coped with BDD.   This year, a book called Shattered Image was published and has many 5 star reviews.  Try to realize that this is a serious disorder, so seek help with a qualified therapist immediately.



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