Body Dysmorphic Disorder

What Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder, sometimes referred to as Body Distortion Disorder or BBD, is a disorder where someone will continuously think of real or perceived flaws in their appearance for up to hours each day. While many people may have things they don’t like about their appearance, an individual with BDD has more difficulty controlling these negative thoughts. The emotional stress of it can interfere with their daily lives and activities. They may begin to avoid social situations to prevent others from seeing their perceived physical flaws. While BDD can lead to severe emotional distress, seeking out body dysmorphic treatment can help.

What Demographic Has a Higher Risk for Developing Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

While BDD affects both men and women almost equally, the disorder is more common in adolescents and teens than it is in adults. The average age for the onset of body dysmorphic disorder is between the ages of 12 and 13.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder Symptoms

Most symptoms of BDD include behaviors that are linked to the obsession with the appearance of the body or flaws that are perceived. It is essential to seek out body dysmorphic disorder treatments if an individual is exhibiting some of the symptoms listed below:

  • Preoccupation with a flaw in appearance that is small or is not noticeable by others
  • A belief that the flaw creates a deformity or ugly appearance
  • Feelings that others are noticing the flaw and developing a negative impression of them because of it
  • Participating in behaviors in an attempt to hide or fix the flaw, this can include such behaviors as grooming, mirror checking, and picking
  • Constantly seeking reassurance or comparing yourself to others
  • Developing perfectionist tendencies
  • Avoiding social interactions
  • Regularly seeking cosmetic procedures though they do little to help
  • Distress in your everyday life due to the preoccupation of your appearance
  • Obsession over such things as complexion, blemishes, hair, breast and body size, the shape of the nose and other facial features
  • Excessive exercise routines
  • Repeatedly changing clothing with little satisfaction

What Are Causes Linked to Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

While there is considerable disagreement about specific causes that lead to body dysmorphic disorder, there are both environmental and biological factors which can contribute to its development. Some of the contributing causes of BDD include:

  • Brain Abnormalities – Some abnormalities in the brain or chemical imbalances such as malfunctioning serotonin can be linked to BDD
  • Genetic Factors – There have been studies that have linked BDD to a genetic predisposition such as those who have family members that have had the disorder in the past or other disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Environment – Sometimes life experiences, culture, or media can contribute to body dysmorphic disorder. Typically, these experiences will involve distorted evaluations of their body or overall self-image and can include things such as bullying, childhood neglect, and different types of abuse.
  • Mental Disorders – BDD can often occur in tandem with other mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

What Can Occur If Body Dysmorphic Disorder Treatment Is Not Sought?

Unfortunately, body dysmorphic disorder rarely gets better without treatments such as those available at Monte Nido’s body dysmorphic disorder treatment centers. If the condition is left untreated, it can continue to get worse over time, often leading to more severe complications as well as costly medical bills both for health and cosmetic related issues. When left untreated, BDD can contribute to:

  • Major depressive disorder and other mood conditions
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Attempted suicide
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Health-related complications due to attempts to correct the perceived flaws
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Co-occurring eating disorders
  • Substance abuse

Body Dysmorphic Disorder Treatment

At Monte Nido, we understand the importance of treating body dysmorphic disorder so you or your loved one can gain a positive self-image of themselves as well as help them to regain control of their daily life. If you or a loved one suspects they might have BDD, contact us today for a free and private consultation.