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    What is body dysmorphia?


    Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), occasionally still called dysmorphophobia, is a mental disorder characterized by the obsessive idea that some aspect of one's own body part or appearance is severely flawed and therefore warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix it. In BDD's delusional variant, the flaw is imagined. If the flaw is actual, its importance is severely exaggerated.

    Either way, thoughts about it are pervasive and intrusive, and may occupy several hours a day, causing severe distress and impairing one's otherwise normal activities. BDD is classified as a somatoform disorder, and the DSM-5 categorizes BDD in the obsessive–compulsive spectrum, and distinguishes it from anorexia nervosa.

    BDD is estimated to affect from 0.7% to 2.4% of the population. It usually starts during adolescence and affects both men and women. The BDD subtype muscle dysmorphia, perceiving the body as too small, affects mostly males. Besides thinking about it, one repetitively checks and compares the perceived flaw, and can adopt unusual routines to avoid social contact that exposes it.

    Fearing the stigma of vanity, one usually hides the preoccupation. Commonly unsuspected even by psychiatrists, BDD has been underdiagnosed. Severely impairing quality of life via educational and occupational dysfunction and social isolation, BDD has high rates of suicidal thoughts and attempts at suicide.

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    Treatment options for body dysmorphic disorder


    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

    CBT is a form of talking therapy that aims to show connections between your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It can also help you develop practical skills to manage them. Sometimes this involves using self-help materials such as books or computer programs.

    The treatment you're offered may depend on the severity of your symptoms, but ideally you should be given CBT before you're prescribed any medication. It can be delivered via telephone, video, or face to face with a therapist. Either one-to-one or in a group.

    The aim of CBT for BDD is to help you feel less anxious about your body by:

    -Helping you change your attitude to body image and physical appearance

    -Exploring your worries about your perceived physical flaw(s)

    -Reducing your need to carry out compulsive behaviors


    You may be prescribed antidepressants, either on their own or in combination with CBT, if:

    -CBT isn't successful in treating your BDD

    -Your BDD is moderately to severely affecting how you live your day-to-day life

    The type of antidepressant your GP provides will usually be a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). These can help reduce obsessive thoughts and behaviors.

    SSRIs can cause unpleasant side effects for some people, so it's a good idea to discuss this with your GP before starting. You can also take a look at our information on what you should do before starting medication.

    If a first course of SSRIs and more intensive CBT isn't effective, the next step is usually to try a different SSRI or another antidepressant called clomipramine.

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    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - OCD


    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition in which you have frequent unwanted thoughts and sensations (obsessions) that cause you to perform repetitive behaviors (compulsions). The repetitive behaviors can significantly interfere with social interactions and performing daily tasks.

    OCD is usually a life-long (chronic) condition, but symptoms can come and go over time.

    Person with the obsessive compulsive disorder present with a wide variety of symptom including, persistent, unwanted thoughts, impulses or images (obsessions). They perform irritating, often seemingly purposeful, ritualized behaviors (compulsions) in order to neutralize or to reduce the thought.

    Repetitive and unpleasant, with at least one obsession or compulsion recognized as excessive or unreasonable. The persisting symptoms last for at least 50 to 60 minutes a day or considerably interfering with normal functioning.

    The common obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors include:

    -Obsessive cleaning, washing hands, household works to reduce an exaggerated fear of contamination is common.

    -Obsessive fears about harm occurring to themselves or others which can result in compulsive behaviors.

    -Repeatedly counting items or objects, such as bottles, clothes or pavement blocks while walking, junk mail and old newspapers.

    Related Disorders of Obsessive-Compulsive

    There are several disorders that seem to be related to OCD. They share similar features such as intrusive thoughts and/or repetitive behaviours. Although similar, there are important differences to consider when looking at effective treatments.

    The disorders include:

    -Body Dysmorphic Disorder – Preoccupation with an imagined or slight flaw in one’s appearance. BDD often includes repetitive behaviors that are done in response to appearance concerns.

    -Trichotillomania Disorder – Compulsive hair pulling to the point of noticeable hair loss.

    -Excoriation Disorder – Compulsive skin-picking resulting in noticeable damage to the skin.

    -Hoarding Disorder – Persistent difficulty getting rid of possessions because of a perceived need to save them.

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    Self help for body dysmorphic disorder

    #BodyDysmorphicDisorder #BDD

    1: Refocus your attention

    Aside from seeking professional help, remember that self-help can be a powerful tool. Compulsive thoughts and behaviors do not need to control your life.

    Refocusing your attention on the present moment takes time to learn, but has huge benefits for your mental and physical health. There are two strategies that may help: mundane task focusing and a more formal meditation practice. These two coping mechanisms complement each other and can become part of your daily routine.

    2: Practice self-compassion

    Along with meditation, self-compassion is another form of mindfulness. Studies indicate that individuals with higher levels of self-compassion have fewer body dysmorphic symptoms. Focus on ways this can be applied to your daily life to help ease your stress and anxiety. Learning to accept your imperfections, especially during challenging times, is part of embracing self-compassion.

    Most of us treat others with more kindness than we do ourselves. Negative self-talk only leads to more scrutiny about our appearance and distorted self-image. This inner dialogue may become so familiar to us, that we don’t even notice this harmful ritual. Think about how you would speak to a friend or loved one and apply the same caring tone and empathy to yourself. Expressing love and acceptance to ourselves, despite our flaws, is a significant step in the healing process.

    People who have experienced abuse and neglect are more likely to engage in self-criticism. When you practice self-compassion, you are still aware of hurtful thoughts and emotions, but you don't blow them out of proportion. Once you begin to notice the negative self-talk, you can make a concerted effort to say positive affirmations instead.

    3: Start a journaling habit

    Writing your thoughts, feelings, and emotions down in a journal or diary is a great way to express yourself. It doesn’t need to be a long, formal entry and it’s not about correct spelling or grammar. This exercise can be as simple as jotting down a few words. Set aside a few minutes each day and just let it flow naturally. It may be helpful to have a designated time to do this and utilize the same journal or app.

    Writing down your thoughts and emotions can assist with identifying and working through distressing days. You may be surprised about much this tool reduces your anxiety and lifts your mood. Journaling can also be a way to prioritize the problems you’re facing. By keeping track of your BDD symptoms, you can pinpoint the triggers and focus on controlling them more effectively with mindfulness and meditation.

    4: Reduce negative predictions

    Once you become more skilled at managing your thoughts, you can use these coping strategies to talk yourself down before you face a triggering situation. This could be anywhere that you feel self-conscious about your appearance, such as a birthday party or a work conference with a room full of strangers.

    If you have BDD, you may find yourself defaulting to negative predictions about how a particular event will go. You may start to imagine the worst: that everyone will make fun of you, for example, or that you’ll find yourself sitting alone because nobody wants to associate with you because of your perceived “flaw”. In truth, though, reality is much less distressing.

    5: Seek social support

    Support is available to you from many different sources, so remember to keep the lines of communication open. Make sure that you don’t isolate yourself from others. Your close network of family and friends cares deeply about your health and well-being.

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    BPD+BDD = Hating Your Body

    Everyone feels self-conscious about their body from time to time. However, if you hate something about your body and these feelings are interfering with your everyday life, you may have body dysmorphic disorder.

    BDD appears to be relatively common. Studies have reported a point prevalence of 0.7% to 2.4% in the general population. These studies suggest that BDD is more common than disorders such as schizophrenia or anorexia nervosa.

    People with BDD may seek reassurance about the way they look. But try not to get drawn into debates about your appearance and encourage others not to do the same. #BPD #BDD #Anorexia

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    Does BDD get worse with age?

    Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) can worsen with age if left undiagnosed or untreated in the early teenage years. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) can worsen with age if not diagnosed and managed early. BDD is a mental health condition in which a person becomes extra conscious about their perceived flaws and defects.

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    Body Dysmorphia + Triggers

    A combination of environmental, psychological, and biological factors. Bullying or teasing may create or foster the feelings of inadequacy, shame, and fear of ridicule.

    Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a serious mental illness. This is a psychiatric disorder that is related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It most commonly begins around puberty, and it affects both men and women#BDD #triggers

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    Example of BDD triggers


    Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health condition in which you can't stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance — a flaw that appears minor or can't be seen by others. But you may feel so embarrassed, ashamed and anxious that you may avoid many social situations.

    When you have body dysmorphic disorder, you intensely focus on your appearance and body image, repeatedly checking the mirror, grooming or seeking reassurance, sometimes for many hours each day. Your perceived flaw and the repetitive behaviors cause you significant distress and impact your ability to function in your daily life.

    You may seek out numerous cosmetic procedures to try to "fix" your perceived flaw. Afterward, you may feel temporary satisfaction or a reduction in your distress, but often the anxiety returns and you may resume searching for other ways to fix your perceived flaw.

    Treatment of body dysmorphic disorder may include cognitive behavioral therapy and medication.

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