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4088 Body-Dysmorphic-Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

BDD is a type of chronic mental illness in which one can't stop thinking about a flaw in his or her appearance, a flaw that is either minor or imagined. BDD is also known as Dysmorphophobia, the fear of having a deformity. An individual with this disorder tends to have cosmetic surgery and if even the surgery is successful, he or she does not think it was and is never satisfied with the outcome.

The exact cause of BDD is unknown but one theory suggests that this disorder involves a problem with certain neurotramitters in the brain. Other factors such as genes as well as the environment including life experiences and culture may also contribute to this disorder especially if they involve negative experiences about one's body and self-image.

What are the symptoms of BDD?

• Anxious with one's physical appearance with extreme self consciousness
• Frequent examination of oneself in the mirror, or the opposite, avoidance of mirrors altogether
• Avoidance of social situations
• Strong beliefs that one has an abnormality or defect in his or her appearance that makes them look ugly
• Always feel that others take special notice of one's appearance in a negative way
• Feeling the need to stay housebound
• Frequent cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction
• Reluctance to appear in pictures
• Comparison of one's appearance with that of others
• Imaginary physical flaws such as scarring, pale skin, excessive body hair, large or crooked nose
• Having a lot of stress and anxiety about the perceived flaw and spending a great deal of time focussing on it

Factors that can increase one's risk of developing or triggering this condition include:
• Societal pressure or expectations of beauty
• Biological relatives with BDD
• Negative life experiences such as childhood teasing
• Having another psychiatric disorder such as depression or anxiety
• Personality traits such as low self esteem

If you have any signs or symptoms of BDD, contact a mental health professional! BDD doesn't get better on its own.