Are you one of those who keeps on looking at yourself and keeps on complaining about the things you do not like about yourself? Well, you might have a body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). It is a disorder in which you spend so much time just worrying about your physical appearance.
The ones who usually have this condition are older people. But the teenagers are prone to having this disorder as well. Take note that having this sickness does not necessarily mean that you are self-obsessed or vain. In fact, here are five things you should know about this condition:
1. There are a lot of symptoms that can indicate that you have BDD
Having BDD does not mean that you just think about yourself negatively. There are other signs that need to be considered as well:
- Spending a lot of time checking and comparing how you look with other people.
- Worries a lot about your physical features especially your face.
- Looks at the mirror all time or avoids seeing yourself in the mirror
- Picks at your skin so that it will be smooth
- Spends time in concealing the flaws you see in yourself like applying makeup or combing your hair too much.
Although these might look simple signs for you, the above-mentioned symptoms can affect your daily life. It can also have resulted in self-harm, depression, or worse, suicide. This is because BDD is a condition that greatly affects how you perceive yourself.
Depression will come to you when you feel that you are not enough or worthy. Take note, this is not a healthy sign which is why it is very important that you go to your doctor to get treated.
2. Genetics and chemical imbalance can be a cause for BDD
There is no official cause for BBD. Although there are studies that can link this disorder to the following:
- A traumatic past can cause this ailment. Those who were bullied, abused, and teased about their physical appearance can lead to BDD.
- A chemical imbalance in your brain.
- Another cause can be genetics. You can develop this ailment if you have a family member that has BDD, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Eating disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
With these causes in mind, it can be possible that BDD is a mental disorder. This is why it is not a simple condition that can be disregarded, especially if it is already affecting your life.
3. You can still treat BBD
Just like any condition, there are still a lot of ways you can treat this illness. The first treatment would be through a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It is a talking treatment that specializes in how you perceive yourself by sharing your thoughts or basically talking about how you feel about yourself. You can do this with your friends or through a support group.
CBT will help you understand the symptoms that are related to your condition. This will also give you solutions that can change how your mind works. You have the option to have an end goal as well to motivate yourself.
One of the techniques that you can use during CBT is the ERP or exposure and response prevention. It requires you to face your fears or situations that can make you feel awkward or embarrassed about your physical appearance. Included in the sessions are self-help information that you can read when you are at home.
In mild cases, the doctor might recommend that you take antidepressant drugs such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). This medicine increases your serotonin levels. Through SSRI, you can have uplifting moods and positive vibes that can somehow fight off the negativity that you have with your body.
The medication will have an effect after 12 weeks since you first took the pill. You will then need to keep taking this medication until you are fully healed. The doctor will guide you throughout your journey to see if the pill has an effect on you. He or she might ask about how you are feeling to check the impact of the drug.
There can be instances wherein the doctor would recommend that you take the pill and the treatment. But if those still did not work, the doctor might suggest that you take a different drug. In worse cases, you might be taken to a mental health clinic.
4. There are different ways you can do to prevent worsening BDD
If you are seeing the early signs of BDD such as thinking negatively about yourself, you can immediately prevent it before it worsens. You can go to support groups to learn ways you can remove the negative thoughts in your head.
You can also practice improving your mental wellbeing. You can do mind exercises when you are feeling down or anxious. There are those who spend time with their family and friends to have the confidence they need. Meanwhile, some go on vacations to relax.
5. BDD is a serious case that needs to be paid attention to
Body dysmorphic disorder is a condition in which you have negative thoughts about your body. People with this condition tend to pity themselves or think they are not “pretty” enough. Although it might look simple or petty for some, it is not a disorder you can just choose to ignore. This is why doctors strongly recommend that if you think you have this condition, you immediately go to your doctor.
In fact, there are studies that claim that BDD can even lead to suicide. Around 24% to28% of BDD victims have attempted suicide. This should serve as a warning as well to those who like to judge other people about their physical looks. And if you do know someone who has this condition, do not just ignore or shove them away. Instead, be that someone who will encourage him or her that there is nothing to hate about themselves. Each and everyone has their own perception of beauty and that they should not let other people change the way they think about themselves.