What is Body Dysmorphia
What Can You Do to Help Alleviate It?
Body Dysmorphia or Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition characterized by a preoccupation with perceived flaws in appearance. People with BDD may have a distorted view of how they look and may spend a lot of time examining and trying to fix their appearance. They may also have a hard time accepting compliments or believing that their appearance is normal.
Symptoms of BDD may include:
- Constantly comparing one's appearance to that of others
- Excessive grooming or checking in mirrors
- Seeking reassurance from others about one's appearance
- Avoiding social situations due to anxiety about appearance
- Engaging in repetitive behaviors like skin picking or hair pulling
- Seeking unnecessary cosmetic procedures to try to fix perceived flaws
BDD can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life and can lead to social isolation, low self-esteem, and even suicidal thoughts. It is important to seek treatment if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of BDD. Treatment options may include therapy, medication, and self-care strategies.
What kind of help can you get if you have body dysmorphia?
Treatment for body dysmorphia or body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) may include a combination of therapy, medication, and self-care strategies. Here are some things that a person with BDD can try to help manage their symptoms:
Seek treatment: It is important to seek professional help if you are experiencing symptoms of BDD. Treatment options may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which can help you identify and change negative thought patterns, and medication, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which can help to reduce obsessive thoughts and behaviors.
Practice self-care: Taking care of your physical and mental health can help to reduce the severity of BDD symptoms. This may include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in activities that you enjoy.
Challenge negative thoughts: People with BDD often have distorted views of their appearance. It can be helpful to write down negative thoughts about your appearance and try to reframe them in a more realistic way. For example, instead of thinking "I am ugly," you could try thinking "I may not feel confident about my appearance, but that does not define my worth as a person."
Limit mirror time: If you find yourself spending a lot of time checking your appearance in the mirror, it may be helpful to limit the amount of time you spend doing this. You could try covering up mirrors or setting a timer to remind you to move on to another activity.
Seek support: It can be helpful to talk to someone about your BDD symptoms, whether it is a friend, family member, or mental health professional. Sharing your experiences with someone you trust can help to reduce feelings of isolation and can provide a sense of support and understanding.
Engage in activities that bring joy: It can be helpful to find activities that bring you joy and help you to feel good about yourself. This may include hobbies, exercise, or spending time with loved ones.
Always remember, seeking treatment and engaging in self-care strategies can help to reduce the severity of BDD symptoms and improve your quality of life. If you are struggling with BDD or know someone who is, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.
Can what you wear help with body dysmorphia?
Clothing can be a way for people to express their personal style and can often contribute to feelings of confidence and self-esteem. However, it is important to recognize that clothing alone is not a solution for body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). BDD is a mental health condition that requires professional treatment, such as therapy and medication, in order to manage symptoms.
That being said, finding clothing that makes a person feel comfortable and confident can be a positive aspect of their self-care routine. It may be helpful to experiment with different styles and find clothing that fits well and makes the person feel good about themselves. It is important to remember, however, that clothing should not be used as a way to hide or cover up perceived flaws in appearance, as this can ultimately reinforce negative thoughts and behaviors associated with BDD.
It is also important to keep in mind that everyone has their own unique body shape and size, and there is no "perfect" body type. It is important to focus on finding clothing that makes you feel comfortable and confident, rather than trying to conform to societal standards of beauty.