What is Body Dysmorphia?
Officially referred to as body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD, this chronic mental condition involves extreme anxiety over a nonexistent physical defect. In some ways, it’s similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder and eating disorders. For these reasons, Eating Disorder Solutions wants to educate individuals and their families about body dysmorphia and the importance of treatment with our body dysmorphia quiz.
The main characteristic of BDD is intense anxiety about a defect that others can’t see or that doesn’t exist. Individuals living with this disorder often believe that they’re ugly. They may even get plastic surgery to improve their appearance, but unfortunately afterward still do not feel more confident.
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Have you ever looked in the mirror and fixated on a perceived flaw? Or have you been bothered by the way your body looks and perhaps feel uncomfortable in your own skin? While most people have “off” days and feel somewhat bothered by physical imperfections, those who experience body dysmorphic disorder spend hours a day obsessing over real or imagined flaws. They may even take drastic measures to hide their perceived flaws from others, which can interfere with work and social lives.
Eating disorders and BDD both involve a debilitating concern with body image. The difference, though, is that individuals with eating disorders worry about the shape of their bodies and how much they weigh. Those with body dysmorphic disorder develop anxiety about specific body parts, such as:
- Acne or other blemishes
- Breast and buttock sizes
- Genitalia size or shape
- Lack of hair
- Muscle tone and size
- Nose size and shape
- Scars and wrinkles
It’s often difficult for individuals to recognize body dysmorphia in themselves. Even loved ones may find it difficult because individuals go to great lengths to try to hide the problem. If you’ve noticed the signs of body dysmorphia in yourself or a loved one, it’s important to realize that you’re not alone. Take this body dysmorphia quiz to determine if you or a loved one should seek professional treatment.
Who Has Body Dysmorphia?
Body dysmorphic disorder is characterized by obsessive thinking about a flaw on a specific part of your face that is often imagined or exaggerated in one’s mind. While the flaw may nonexistent, or unnoticeable to anyone else, it can consume the individual’s thoughts and minds.
Those who live with body dysmorphia may go to great lengths to try and cover the perceived flaw or develop unhealthy routines or rituals. For instance, they may constantly pick at their skin or look in a mirror. Eventually, they obsess over their appearance to the point that their social, professional and personal lives suffer.
Unfortunately, no one has pinpointed the cause of body dysmorphia. It often starts in the teen years and can continue into adulthood without treatment. Other factors that may contribute to body dysmorphia include a perfectionist personality type, a traumatic life experience, family history with body dysmorphia or similar mental disorder, and abnormal levels of brain chemicals, specifically low serotonin.
Body dysmorphic disorder can be hard to live with, so it’s crucial for individuals to analyze their lives honestly if they think that they have this disorder. Our body dysmorphia quiz is a great starting point to get an idea of whether their symptoms coincide with those that are common with BDD. However, it’s important not to use the results of this body dysmorphia quiz as an official diagnosis. Instead, discuss the results with the team of specialists at Eating Disorder Solutions in Dallas, Texas to ensure proper treatment.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder Symptoms & Signs
Hard to resist or control, people struggling with body dysmorphia can hardly focus on anything but their imperfections. Over time, it can lead to low self-esteem and depression. It may be hard to verify the signs of body dysmorphia in a loved one as they will often take extreme steps to hide their unusual behaviors from missing out on social activities to wearing baggy clothes. Some of the body dysmorphic disorder symptoms include:
- Camouflaging their perceived imperfection with clothing, makeup, hats, etc.
- Seeking surgery to fix the perceived imperfection
- Checking in the mirror obsessively or avoiding mirrors altogether
- Skin picking
- Excessive grooming
- Excessive exercise
- Seeking many healthcare providers about your looks
- Feeling anxious, depressed, and ashamed about your body
- Changing clothes excessively
Many of these behaviors are compulsive and repetitive in nature as the individual will try to hide or improve their flaws for temporary relief. The body dysmorphic disorder symptoms can be crippling, affecting the individual’s work, school, or social life.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Other Mental Health Disorders
People who experience body dysmorphic symptoms also live with anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder, depression, eating disorders like anorexia nervosa or obsessive compulsive disorder.
Unfortunately, body dysmorphia can be misdiagnosed as the signs of body dysmorphia share similar symptoms as these disorders.
Accredited Body Dysmorphic Disorder Treatment Programs
Body dysmorphia treatment is essential if you’ve noticed any of the signs of body dysmorphia in yourself or a loved one. Fortunately, Eating Disorder Solutions is one of the few body dysmorphia treatment centers.
Taking a client-centered approach to treating body dysmorphia, Eating Disorder Solutions creates personalized treatment plans based on individuals’ needs. In order to do that, we offer several levels of care that provide guidance during every step of recovery. Our range of BDD treatment programs includes:
What sets our program apart from other body dysmorphia treatment programs is our compassionate staff and non-judgmental environment. We understand that body dysmorphia is a mental health disorder that requires a unique approach for recovery. We’ll guide you through the process and help you transform your negative thoughts into positive ones for a better chance of long term recovery.
Specialized Body Dysmorphia Therapy Programs
In addition to our specialized treatment programs, we offer a number of therapies that promote long-term healing and recovery:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Exposure and response therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
Our compassionate specialists evaluate clients throughout treatment to ensure that they receive the right level of support. Our premier programs include effective therapies, clinical supervision, and nutrition education, all in a welcoming and supportive environment.
Seek Treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder at Eating Disorder Solutions
While our self-test can help suggest if body dysmorphia is present in an individual, seeking professional treatment for a diagnosis is essential, especially if the individual is exhibiting any body dysmorphic disorder symptoms. The feelings of stress and shame can be so overwhelming that it not only interferes with everyday life. Left untreated, body dysmorphic disorder can lead to severe depression and suicidal thoughts.
The sooner treatment begins, the better the chance for recovery. Eating disorder solutions provides a non-judgmental proven process that helps those experiencing these conditions have a chance for long-term recovery.
If you’ve noticed the signs of body dysmorphia in yourself or a loved one, don’t ignore your concerns. Take our body dysmorphia quiz to find out if you should talk to a specialist. Contact Eating Disorder Solutions today for an official diagnosis and to learn more about our treatment options.