Body Dysmorphic Disorder

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Body Dysmorphic Disorder
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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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    I’m new here!

    Hi, my name is emaya. I’m undiagnosed for borderline but diagnosed with bdd.

    #MightyTogether #BodyDysmorphicDisorder #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder

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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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    Muscle dysmorphia symptoms


    Although body dissatisfaction has been found in boys as young as age six, muscle dysmorphia's onset is estimated at usually between ages 18 and 20. According to DSM-5, muscle dysmorphia is indicated by the diagnostic criteria for body dysmorphic disorder via "the idea that his or her body is too small or insufficiently muscular", and this specifier holds even if the individual is preoccupied with other body areas, too, as is often the case.

    Further clinical features identified include excessive conduct of efforts to increase muscularity, activities such as dietary restriction, over-exercise, and injection of growth-enhancing drugs. Persons experiencing muscle dysmorphia generally spend over three hours daily pondering increased muscularity, and may feel unable to limit weightlifting.

    As in anorexia nervosa, the reverse quest in muscle dysmorphia can be insatiable. Those suffering from the disorder closely monitor their body and may wear multiple clothing layers to make it appear larger.

    Muscle dysmorphia involves severe distress at having one's body viewed by others. Occupational and social functioning are impaired, and dietary regimes may interfere with these. Patients often avoid activities, people, and places that threaten to reveal their perceived deficiency of size or muscularity.

    Roughly half of patients have poor or no insight that these perceptions are unrealistic. Patient histories reveal elevated rates of diagnoses of other mental disorders, including eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorder, as well as elevated rates of suicide attempts.

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    Do you avoid using mirrors? Why do you avoid using mirrors?

    You may have body dysmorphic disorder, or you may have another mental illness that is causing this to happen. #ubpd #Bpdways #mentaldisorder #BodyDysmorphicDisorder

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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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    Diagnosis of Body Dysmorphia


    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.

    After a medical evaluation to help rule out other medical conditions, your health care provider may make a referral to a mental health professional for further evaluation.

    Diagnosis of body dysmorphic disorder is typically based on:

    -A psychological evaluation that assesses risk factors and thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to negative self-image

    -Personal, social, family and medical history

    -Signs and symptoms

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    I'm Fat and I Don't Hate Myself

    I’m fat. I admit it. I haven’t been fat all my life, so this came as something of a surprise to me, but I’m dealing with it. I don’t know whether it’s my eating habits or my medication or some genetic thing that has caused me to gain weight, but there you have it. It could be any or all of those.

    I’m not trying extreme diets or grueling workouts, though I admit that some exercise would be good for my mental condition as well as my body. I’m living with and acknowledging the fact that I am fat.

    The thing is, when I think about myself, I don’t think of myself as fat. Perhaps I’m in denial about it. But I do know how much I weigh and that it’s over what I should, according to all the height vs. weight and BMI Index charts. And I don’t think of myself as thin. I just feel as though I’m still in my 30s and weigh what I weighed then, despite my body’s very clear rejection of those notions. I know I’m really in my 60s and have trouble getting up off the floor if I fall, in part because of what I weigh.

    I’ve heard that everyone gets stuck in their head at a certain age and always remains that same age in their mind. It’s not quite like having an inner child of four or ten (or in my case, more like 15). I used to think I didn’t have an inner child until I remembered how much I still love chocolate milk, plush animals, and naps. And I do have that inner teen that wants to make up for all the things I missed when I was a depressed teen, like mad crushes and experimenting with fingernail polish and fake nails. But having an inner weight is different somehow. It’s like my brain and my body are clashing in some way.

    At least I don’t have Body Dysmorphic Disorder. That’s when you see tiny, imperceptible flaws in yourself and magnify them until you think that’s all people see when they look at you. Technically, it’s not the same as anorexia because, in anorexia, you focus only on your weight even if you are thin. Anorexia is an eating disorder that you have as a reaction to your flawed perception of your body size. Dysmorphic Disorder is more about smaller perceived flaws such as balding or the size of your nose. (The Mayo Clinic does say that Body Dysmorphic Disorder can cause or be associated with eating disorders, low self-esteem, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and substance abuse. The DSM-5 does not classify Body Dysmorphia as an eating disorder. It’s confusing.)

    One of the dangers of Body Dysmorphic Disorder is overuse of plastic surgery, which can be somewhat of an addiction in itself. Just watch a few episodes of the TV series Botched and you’ll see what I mean. There are always horror stories like the one in which a young man wanted to look like Michael Jackson and as a result of repeated surgery suffered the same health problems and conditions that the singer did.

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