Body Dysmorphia – What Is It?
Many of us can pinpoint things that we don’t like about our bodies or that we would like to change if we could. Whilst these are passing concerns to some people, for others these perceived flaws can become an obsession. This, in turn can turn into Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Body Dysmorphia or BDD.
BDD is a mental health condition and it is when a person spends a huge amount of their time worrying about their own perceived flaws in the appearance. More often than not, these flaws cannot be picked up by anyone else.
You can develop BDD at any point in your life, however it is most common in teenagers and young adults. It can affect both men and women and does not mean that you are in any way vain or self-obsessed.
What are the symptoms of BDD?
There are a number of signs that you might have BDD and these signs are not the same for every single person. Some of the common symptoms of BDD include:
- You spend a lot of time worrying about a specific area of your body (this may usually be your face)
- You will compare how you look with others around you
- You may avoid mirrors altogether or spend a large amount of time looking in mirrors
- You will go to a lot of effort in order to conceal your flaws, this could be choosing clothes or perhaps applying make up
- You may pick at certain areas of your skin in order to make it smooth
On there own, these things might not seem that bad, however, if you have BDD then you may find that it has an impact on your entire life. Not only your work life, but also your social life and your relationships too.
You can even find that over time, BDD can lead to other mental health issues such as self-harm and depression and even suicidal thoughts.
How can I get help for BDD?
If you think that you might have BDD then it is important that you see your GP. They will ask you a number of questions that will help you to ascertain whether or not you have BDD and how it is impacting on your every day life.
There is a chance that they may suggest treatment plans that you can follow, or you may find that you are referred to a specialist who works in mental health and can give you the guidance that you need to make the change in your life. This more than likely will be a talking therapy as this has been proven to help with a variety of different mental health issues.
It can be really hard to seek guidance for BDD, however, you should never feel ashamed or embarrassed about how you feel. Without seeking guidance you are going to find that it is even harder to get through it and to find a way to the other side.