A mental health condition in which a person spends a lot of time and energy worrying related to flaws in their appearance is known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). These flaws are often impeccable to others.
You may suffer from BDD in any age group, but it is the most common in the teenage group and adults. Body dysmorphic disorder affects both men and women. Suffering from BDD doesn’t mean you are vanity and self-obsessed. This may profoundly impact your personal life.
Symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
Warning signs and symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder include:
- More worrying about a specific part of your body (especially your face).
- Devote a significant amount of time in comparing your appearance with others.
- Always take special notice of your body in a negative way.
- Spend a lot of time concealing flaws such as taking more time to comb hair, applying makeup, or choosing clothes.
- Always engage with skin-picking behavior to attain perceived “Smooth skin texture”.
- Having perfectionist tendencies.
- Avoid societal connections
- Looking for temporary or artificial procedures for little satisfaction.
Having body dysmorphic disorder, you may focus on multiple parts of the body. The bodily features may change over the time. This may include:
- Facial features such as nose, skin complexion, wrinkles, pimples, and other blemishes.
- Hair-related problems such as thinning and baldness.
- Skin complexion and vein of appearance.
- Problem related to breast size.
- More worrying about the appearance of genitalia.
All of the above are examples of the areas that patients with BDD focus more and feel distressing thoughts about.
Causes of BDD
The exact cause of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is not fully understood. Many other mental health conditions, BDD, may cause issues such as disorders in family history, negative evaluations about your body structure or body image, more abnormal brain function, or abnormal stage of a brain chemical called serotonin. Here is the advice to note that these factors are not exactly causes of body dysmorphic disorder but rather contribute to the development of BDD.
Treatment of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
The symptoms can improve with treatment of BDD. If you have mild symptoms, you should consult for a therapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which you have either on your own or in a group.
If you have BDD with moderate symptoms then you should be offered either CBT or a type of medical supplement called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
If your symptoms are more severe then no other treatment works except CBT together with SSRI.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT):
CBT can facilitate your BDD symptoms with the help of changing behavior and thinking. With the help of this therapy, you can measure what triggers your BDD symptoms and assist you with other ways of thinking about and dealing with your habits. It is necessary for you and your therapists to agree on goals for therapy and help each to achieve goals.
For dealing with BDD symptoms, CBT includes the latest technology called exposure and prevention (ERP). This technique involves facing gradually which would help you to think about your appearance and feel anxious.
Your therapist also suggests another way of dealing with your feelings to overcome these situations. This therapy aims to help you become able to deal with BDD symptoms without feeling conscious and anxious. Some other self-information is given by a therapist to practice at home and CBT can perform in groups or in individuals, this will depend on your BDD symptoms severity.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI):
It is a type of antidepressant. There are many different types of SSRI used for the treatment of BDD, but fluoxetine is most commonly used for it. This may consume up to 12 weeks for SSRIs. If it is to work on BDD symptoms, then you will probably be asked to keep talking to them for several months to improve your symptoms and stop them from coming back. There are some side effects of taking SSRIs, but these will disappear in a few weeks.
If you have not had BDD symptoms in 6 to 12 weeks then you can probably take off SSRIs. More than 30 age adults need extra care and monitoring when taking SRRIs because they may have a higher risk of creating suicidal thoughts or may try to hurt themselves in an early step of treatment.
If both treatments successfully improve your BDD symptoms after 12 weeks, you are prescribed another SSRI called clomipramine. If you notice that there is no improvement in your symptoms, you should consult a mental health clinic or hospital that specializes in BDD such as National OCD and BDD service. These services will work in-depth assessment of your BDD.
Best Ways to Deal with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
- Join a group for BDD: If you are looking for help in dealing with BDD, then join a group that may benefit you. With the help of joining these groups, you may receive some valuable information, guidance, and practical advice to assist patients dealing with BDD. To find more support groups in the vicinity, consult with your healthcare providers or refer to the BDD foundation directory which will offer local and online BDD support groups.
- Mindfulness and mental balance: You should include some mindfulness exercises in your daily life which help you if you are feeling down and anxious. In addition, searching for support from friends and family, or trying new activities can also contribute to enhancing mental wellbeing. Moreover also include some relaxation techniques and breathing exercises in your daily routine which may help to alleviate your stress and anxiety. The help of this increases a sense of mental well-being.