Body dysmorphic disorder

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

“I don't like my lips! They are too little, which makes me feel quite uneasy. Every time I go out, I feel like everyone is watching my lips. As a result, I prefer to stay indoors and avoid huge crowds. I wish I had thick lips. I wish I could love myself. I wish life wasn't so tough.” This is a complaint made by a 17-year-old adolescent to her therapist. This is known as body dysmorphic disorder, and unfortunately, many teens and young adults suffer from it.

Body dysmorphic disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder, also known as body dysmorphia, is a mental health condition in which a person is continually concerned about flaws or defects on their body that are either observed by a few individuals or perceived by the individual alone. It's true that some people worry about particular bodily parts. A person suffering from body dysmorphia, on the other hand, will go to great lengths to conceal their faults.

Causes of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)

Like many mental health problems, the definite cause is unknown but there are several factors that may lead an individual to this disorder.

1. Negative comments from parents and others as a youngster - the reality is that most individuals do not see their defects unless they are pointed out to them. Sometimes these are minor issues, but because they were mocked about it, they continue to be concerned even after the mockers have forgotten or the defect has been corrected.

2. Low self-esteem - Some people do not hold themselves in high regard and lack self-confidence.

3. Societal pressure - Nowadays, society has a beauty standard that expects women, in particular, to have specific forms and bodies. As a result, when certain people do not fall into this group, they tend to look poorly on themselves and develop body dysmorphia.

4. Mental health issues, such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, can often make a person feel as if something is wrong with their body.

5. Having relatives with BDD-Sometimes relatives with this disease would point out problems in their family to avoid feeling isolated.

Symptoms of BDD

1. Becoming too preoccupied with faults or imperfections that are invisible to most people or look minor to a few.

2. Taking actions to conceal the aforementioned weakness or defects. For example, avoiding looking in the mirror at all costs or excessively staring in the mirror, plucking at the skin, and concealing the flaw with a scarf or hat or even masks.

3. Asking friends and relatives whether you have adequately hidden the defect or if it is too visible.

4. Spending extra time at work or school because you are always checking to see if the fault is exposed.

5. Feeling excessively self-conscious in crowds or avoiding crowds altogether.

6. Some people may go to extraordinary lengths to consult surgeons or dermatologists in order to improve their look.

7. Constantly working out to fix the imperfection or problematic body part.

8.  Considering self-harm or suicide because of how you believe you appear.

• The nose, lips, ears, ears, brows, teeth, and so on. Nowadays, young women prefer pointed noses, thick lips, and the lips of celebrities and will undergo surgery to obtain them.

• Wrinkles, acne, birthmarks, blemishes, skin tone, and so on. Taking care of your skin is important, but when you go to excessive lengths to conceal problems that are not ordinarily visible, you have a problem.

• BMI, whether you are overweight or underweight. Some people engage in extreme exercise to lose weight or gain muscle, and as a result, they develop eating disorders or health issues such as ulcers.

• Hair - excessive or insufficient hair on the body. Many young adults and even elderly people go through unpleasant procedures just to correct some hair growth in specific areas.

• Breast, penis, thighs, buttocks, and other body parts are examples of other body parts. Many people have implants primarily to increase the size of these body parts.

Complications

"To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction," said Isaac Newton. He was not mistaken because, while most people with BDD go to great lengths to conceal their flaws in order to feel confident and courageous, they feel insecure and inferior when their mask is removed. Many develop depression, their bodies disfigure, and their symptoms worsen.

Diagnosis and tests

Body dysmorphic disorder can only be diagnosed by a certified medical doctor or psychiatrist. They examine your symptoms and perform a physical examination. Personal history, particularly family history, will be gathered.

Treatment

It is entirely possible to treat and manage body dysmorphia. Some methods of treating patients are listed below:

  1. Psychotherapy- Individuals are counseled by Psychiatrists and their perceptions of their body parts are gradually altered.

2.  Socialization - such patients are encouraged to overcome their fear of interacting with others and being in the company of others. This is to demonstrate to them that many people do not perceive them in the way they believe.

3. Medication- some antidepressants are prescribed to individuals based on their flaws and their relationships with others.

4. Family and friend support- this goes a long way toward showing them that they are not ugly and that they are loved by those who care about them.

In a nutshell, BDD is a mental disorder. You're most likely exaggerating a minor flaw or inventing one that doesn't exist. Performing surgeries and engaging in lifestyle changes solely to conceal such flaws will only exacerbate the situation. Humans are not without flaws. Learn to love yourself because no one will love you more than you will love yourself.

References

  1. Mayo clinic. Body dysmorphic disorder. Available at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/body-dysmorphic-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20353938
  2. JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE. Body dysmorphic disorder. Available at https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/body-dysmorphic-disorder
PsychologyMedicine

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

A young lady who is excited to influence the society and world with the knowledge she has acquired.