What Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
Body Dysmorphic Disorder or BDD is a mental illness resulting in the obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in your body image. Body Dysmorphia comes from the term 'dysmorphophobia', the fear of having a deformity.
Symptoms of Body Dysmorphia
Excessive Mirror Checking
Those who suffer with BDD are often checking their appearance in the mirror for flaws or the perceived flaw they believe they have. They may carry a pocket mirror or always find themselves going to the bathroom.
Those with BDD may monitor their bodies excessively to check weight, measurements, and compare themselves to others. They might ask for opinions a lot about a particular issue they see in their appearance.
Those suffering with BDD often struggle with depression due to mental distress they feel in public, withdrawal methods, and not knowing what to do about their perceived flaws. Depression is most likely accompanied by anxiety.
Those with BDD will sometimes seek methods to "cure" the flaws they see either with plastic surgery, gym memberships, & dieting. Unfortunately, the results they receive may not be satisfying or helpful to correct the issue.
How To Get Treatment for Body Dysmorphia
Those who think they may have body dysmorphic disorder are encouraged to seek help through a mental health professional. Licensed Mental Health Professionals are trained to access the symptoms, make a proper diagnosis, and create a plan for treatment. Search your healthcare directory for a professional covered by your insurance or use affordable services like BetterHelp.
You can also hire a Body Image and Self-Esteem Coach but please note that coaches are not licensed and trained to treat mental illnesses. You may see both a Counselor and a Coach, a Counselor will help with diagnosis & treatment, while a Coach will help you create healthy habits for prevention and meeting your goals.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Known as CBT, this is one of the most effective talk therapy treatments, in which you will work with a professional to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts.