Mental health was not always given the correct attention in our society. In fact, it was only recently seen as a serious health condition. Research on the topics of mental health issues has shed light on a lot of things that may have been away from our radar of understanding. One of these is body dysmorphic disorder. To understand this disorder we will discuss what it is, its symptoms, and its causes.
What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder
This is basically a mental health disorder where you would not be able to stop worrying over a supposed flaw or a defect in your appearance. This flaw may or may not actually be there. It might be the tiniest little deformity that may not even be properly visible to everyone but it will keep you thinking about it all the time. This will result in anxiety, embarrassment, the feeling of shame, and so on. People have often been seen to rely on cosmetic surgeries to get rid of the flaws but the disorder hardly ever goes away so easily. You may still end up finding something else to feel ashamed of and the stress will simply not die down.
Just like every other disorder, there are some symptoms by which you can tell that a person is suffering from body dysmorphic disorder. These include :
- Over obsession over a very small defect or no defect at all.
- Being convinced that people keep noticing a certain defect in you.
- Constantly trying to explain your habit of hiding your supposed defect.
- Frequently seeking reassurance from people regarding how you look.
- Avoiding social situations.
People who show these symptoms are usually fixated on things that are prominent in their appearance like face, hair, skin, breast size, muscle tone, and so on. People who are not built well or are short in height usually show symptoms of this disorder.
Probably the most effective treatment for this disorder would be through cognitive behavioral therapy.
The patient would be taught how to address the problem. There would also be activities to help the patient handle urges to keep fiddling with a certain defective body part, keep looking in the mirror, try to hide the body part, and so on. There is not a lot of study on body dysmorphic disorder treatment but therapy is usually considered the safest solution. A trusted clinic or a doctor is always recommended for such disorders.
To date, there is no medication that has been approved by the FDA although some doctors believe that prescribing SSRI drugs may help the patient in some way. SSRI is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.
Like many mental health disorders, this order can also be caused or triggered by many things. Often it is a combination of many things like:
- Having blood relatives who have this disorder
- Childhood traumas related to body shaming and so on.
- Giving in to social pressures of perfection and beauty
- Anxiety and depression
Mental health disorders are often overlooked as being minor and are usually left untreated. This usually aggravates the disorder. It is very important to understand the symptoms, causes, and treatment of these disorders. This may help you or others suffering from this disorder unknowingly.