Body dysmorphic disorder is characterized by a distorted perception of body image. Individuals who suffer from this disorder often fixate on defects in their appearance that are imagined or minor. As a result, they develop low self-esteem and self-worth and avoid social situations. The distress that BDD causes makes them feel isolated and interferes with their everyday lives. Body dysmorphia may even cause complications such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders and eating disorders.
For example, individuals might view a part of their body as too large. Due to this, they may develop eating disorders or unhealthy eating habits to achieve what they believe is the ideal figure or appearance. In fact, many of those who suffer from bulimia and anorexia also have body dysmorphic disorder. They could seek plastic surgery or other medical procedures to change what they feel are undesired features. Other individuals may disregard medical advice only to experience long-term health problems. Instead, it’s important to seek body dysmorphic disorder treatment. Getting help at Eating Disorder Solutions in Dallas, Texas, opens the door to comprehensive care that addresses every aspect of this disorder.
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Body Dysmorphic Disorder Treatment at Eating Disorder Solutions
Eating Disorder Solutions uses a client-centered approach to body dysmorphic disorder treatment. Our specialists provide personalized care that includes clinical supervision, mental health support and effective therapy. Our supportive, nonjudgmental environment allows individuals to discover self-worth and build self-esteem and self-confidence. We also offer continual monitoring to help them stay on track long term.
At Eating Disorder Solutions, BDD treatment includes a continuum of care that may include residential treatment followed by partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient care or both. We believe that everyone has a different experience with body dysmorphia, which is why we personalize all aspects of treatment according to individual needs. At every turn, our knowledgeable and compassionate specialists offer support and guidance.
To start the body dysmorphic disorder treatment process, each member of the Eating Disorder Solutions team gets to know clients on a personal level. We learn about their symptoms, the challenges that they face at school or work, and the problems that they experience in personal relationships with family and friends. During this time, it’s beneficial for us to talk with the client and their family to thoroughly understand their situation. Our team also asks for access to medical, psychiatric and other treatment history in order to develop the best treatment plan.
Next, we perform comprehensive psychiatric and medical assessments. These allow us to officially diagnose body dysmorphic disorder and determine whether other mental health disorders are present. With that information, our team can create a personalized treatment plan for each individual.
Body Dysmorphia Residential Treatment
Our residential program sets Eating Disorder Solutions apart from other facilities in Dallas, Texas. We understand the need for comprehensive care, which is why we’re one of the few treatment centers which offer residential body dysmorphic disorder treatment.
During this individually tailored treatment plan, clients move away from the stressors that influence the disorder and step into a supportive atmosphere. Our clinical team believes that residential care provides the ideal opportunity to address feelings of guilt and shame so that individuals can begin to recover.
Throughout residential treatment, the Eating Disorder Solutions team meets to discuss whether a treatment plan is meeting a client’s recovery needs. The discussion ensures that our program is truly personalized for each individual. If adjustments need to be made to our approach, then we can do so to improve the client’s progress.
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BDD Outpatient Programs
Eating Disorder Solutions designs intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs to help clients focus on recovery and continued healing. It can be hard for some individuals to maintain this focus immediately following residential treatment as they return to everyday life. Our outpatient treatments give them psychiatric and medical support as they adjust to living outside of our stress-free community. At the same time, they have the freedom to rediscover their lives equipped with all of the knowledge they have acquired during residential treatment.
Our partial hospitalization program is the natural next step after residential care. It includes returning to our facility five or six days a week for continued body dysmorphic disorder treatment. The next step is our intensive outpatient program, which includes visiting our facility three days a week for four hours sessions. Not everyone requires both outpatient programs, though. Sometimes, only intensive outpatient treatment is necessary.
Support for Underlying Mental Health Issues
Body dysmorphic disorder treatment at Eating Disorder Solutions integrates evidence-based therapies that address the underlying reasons why this and related disorders develop. At the root of our treatment, we have compassion for and understanding that medical and mental health conditions are the source of this complex problem. As such, our approach addresses the physical, mental and spiritual damage that body dysmorphia causes. It also deals with the underlying negative self-image and trauma that individuals face.
In fact, body dysmorphic disorder is deeply rooted in emotional mental health issues. It’s common for individuals to have co-occurring disorders, such as depression, post-traumatic stress and obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, other emotional and mental health conditions can be present as well. Simply treating body dysmorphic disorder doesn’t address the underlying problem, which makes individuals vulnerable to regression. For that reason, Eating Disorder Solutions tackles all issues during BDD treatment.
Effective Behavioral Therapy for Body Dysmorphia
The key to BDD treatment is safety. However, many individuals develop physically unhealthy behaviors to cope with body dysmorphic disorder. Some examples include pulling out their body hair or picking at their skin. Fortunately, our specialists help clients see that these behaviors are ineffective at correcting what they believe are physical flaws. Cognitive behavioral therapy is our most effective treatment modality for helping individuals reclaim control over their lives.
During body dysmorphic disorder treatment, our psychiatrists use CBT to teach clients how to recognize unreasonable thoughts and develop more positive ways of thinking. This technique works on the basis that thoughts and emotions affect behaviors. Put another way, thinking and feeling in a negative way makes individuals act in a destructive manner. When they have positive thoughts and feelings, though, their behaviors are more constructive.
In order to help clients achieve the necessary changes, we incorporate exposure and response prevention techniques into body dysmorphic disorder treatment. The exposure technique helps individuals develop coping skills, reduce compulsive behaviors and confront situations that trigger irrational thoughts. The response prevention technique teaches them how to resist giving in to negative habits to hide their perceived flaws.
In some cases, it helps for individuals to think of body dysmorphia as a bully that runs their lives. However, they can regain control. At Eating Disorder Solutions, we may use special training exercises, worksheets, and thought logs as part of the CBT process. Our overall goal is to improve our clients’ self-esteem and self-worth.
We also may use CBT during individual and group sessions. The purpose of group sessions is to eliminate the guilt and shame that clients are experiencing because of body dysmorphic disorder. By working through their problems and healing together, individuals in body dysmorphic disorder treatment no longer feel isolated. Instead, they build a network of support that motivates them to stay on track and keep improving.
BDD Support for Families
Individuals who suffer from body dysmorphia aren’t the only ones who are affected. Their family members struggle as well. Many of those relatives don’t know how to help their loved ones because they don’t understand body dysmorphic disorder. As a result, their relationships often deteriorate.
For these reasons, our process includes family therapy and support during body dysmorphic disorder treatment. During the sessions, family members learn more about body dysmorphia so that they can better understand how their loved ones feel and why they act the way they do. Our family therapy works with everyone involved to help rebuild relationships. Furthermore, we make sure that our clients have healthy and supportive living environments when they return home after residential BDD treatment.
Each of these people face constant pressure to maintain a certain weight, body shape or appearance. In addition, those with anorexia usually display perfectionistic personalities. They may be seen as overachievers in other areas of their life, such as school or work. They may also suffer from anxiety. Typically, anorexia nervosa begins early in life, with many individuals beginning down this path in puberty. However, it can develop at any time in life, and adults are still afflicted in high numbers whether or not they were diagnosed at a younger age. Thankfully, anorexia treatments in Dallas are recommended and life-changing at any age.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder Signs & Symptoms
While some individuals seek body dysmorphic disorder treatment on their own, many do not. Because of that, it’s beneficial for everyone to know the signs and symptoms of body dysmorphia. Often, individuals suffering from body dysmorphic disorder are consumed with persistent, intrusive thoughts about undesired physical traits, such as the size of their nose, acne, minor scars and moles. These thoughts arise at any time and without warning. No matter how hard they try, individuals have trouble changing or stopping the train of thought. The thoughts can affect their quality of life and cause so much distress that they can’t maintain school or work performance and don’t engage at social gatherings. In severe cases, some individuals refuse to leave the house.
To address their perceived flaws, those suffering from body dysmorphia develop repetitive behaviors that consume three hours or more of their days. However, they can only achieve short-term relief through these behaviors. Some of them include skin picking, excessive grooming and makeup use, seeking cosmetic procedures and needing reassurance from others. While some individuals spend too much time in front of the mirror, others avoid them.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder Causes
Researchers and mental health specialists haven't pinpointed one specific cause of body dysmorphic disorder. Instead, a combination of factors can contribute, which further highlights the importance of personalized body dysmorphic disorder treatment.
One possible cause is obsessive-compulsive disorder. In fact, up to 37% of people with OCD also have body dysmorphia, according to a study published in the medical journal World Psychiatry. Experiencing body shaming or being teased as a child is another factor that can influence the development of body dysmorphic disorder.
Biological and genetic factors make seeking professional body dysmorphic disorder treatment essential. For instance, a small percentage of individuals have close family members who also suffers from body dysmorphia. Also, researchers have discovered that some people with body dysmorphic disorder have low levels of serotonin. BDD treatments that involve medications which increase serotonin levels can relieve symptoms.
Finally, brain function is a complex factor in the development of body dysmorphia. Individuals who require body dysmorphic disorder treatment often hyper focus on details and perceived distortions Researchers are still trying to determine whether these factors are a cause or result of the disorder, though.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder Diagnosis
Unfortunately, it’s not always straightforward for general practitioners and clinicians to diagnose body dysmorphic disorder. BDD has similar signs and symptoms as those of other mental health conditions. As a result, individuals are often misdiagnosed. Some of the most common misdiagnoses are major depressive disorder, social phobia, eating disorders and agoraphobia.
For these reasons, individuals need to undergo thorough diagnostic assessments to determine if they need body dysmorphic disorder treatment. It requires specialists, such as the expert staff at Eating Disorder Solutions, who conduct physical and psychiatric exams after reviewing family, medical, personal and social history.
Don’t let this disorder control your life any longer. Seek body dysmorphic disorder treatment in Dallas, Texas by contacting Eating Disorder Solutions to take your first step toward recovery.