What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

People who suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) are so distressed about their appearance that it can interfere with day-to-day life. BDD can cause people to obsessively check themselves in mirrors, avoid social interactions, and even result in self-harm. It’s important that you know how to treat Body Dysmorphic Disorder, so you can get the help you need quickly and effectively. In this article, we will explore the causes of BDD as well as the symptoms and treatments available today. We’ll also discuss options to consider if your BDD isn’t improving. 

If You Think You Have Body Dysmorphic Disorder 

Body dysmorphism disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition that involves obsessive thoughts about one or more perceived defects or flaws in physical appearance. These obsessive thoughts can lead to significant distress, depression, shame, and low self-esteem. For some people, BDD can lead to social isolation, avoidance of social situations, compulsive mirror checking, excessive grooming behaviors such as skin picking or hair plucking; these symptoms can be so distressing that they interfere with everyday life. 

Recognizing Body Dysmorphic Disorder 

The hallmark of Body Dysmorphic Disorder is the excessive amount of time spent worrying about a perceived imperfection in one’s appearance. It can be diagnosed by meeting at least five of the following criteria:  

1) Preoccupation with an imagined or even slight defect in one’s appearance that causes significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. 2) An unreasonable belief that others are paying too much attention to their physical appearance. 3) Spending hours looking for flaws or defects in their physical appearance. 4) Inability to use mirrors without becoming frustrated or upset due to one’s perceived lack of attractiveness. 5) Avoiding social interactions because they believe others will judge them as unattractive.  

What Are the Symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder? 

Symptoms of BDD can vary from person to person, but in general, people with this disorder may have obsessions about their body that are not rooted in reality. Some common obsessions include a feeling that one’s nose is too big or crooked, or that one’s skin is too dry or oily. These feelings may be paired with compulsive behaviors such as excessive grooming or the wearing of heavy makeup to cover the perceived flaws. 

How Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder Treated? 

The disorder is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which means that it is treated with medication, therapy, and self-care strategies. Better Living Center for Behavioral Health, a Dallas intensive OCD and anxiety treatment center, helps patients learn to manage their obsessions about the way they look by teaching them how to refocus their attention on something else. 

Treatment for BDD may include a combination of treatments, such as: medications, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behavior therapy or exposure therapy. Medications are often used to help reduce obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. Some of the medications that are used to treat BDD include serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. If you or a loved one believe you need treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder, contact us now for assistance. 

Call Us
Share This