Body dismorphia is a type of chronic psychological disorder in which a person cannot stop thinking about a flaw in their appearance.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the flaw can be minor or imagined, but the perceived flaw is intensely obsessed over for many hours a day. People with body dismorphia will miss work or school because of severe emotional distress. Additionally, they avoid social situations because of deep, debilitating shame concerning their bodies. They may also take drastic action and seek out surgery to fix their flaws.
People with body dismorphia commonly have anxiety disorders, depression, or eating disorders.
Symptoms of Body Dismorphia
Body dismorphic disorder can easily be confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, depression, or eating disorders because of a similarity in symptoms.
The repetitive habits and invasive thoughts in body dismorphia are akin to obsessions and compulsions found in OCD. Also, an avoidance of social situations is comparable to behavior shown by people with social anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of body dysmorphia include:
- Extreme self-consciousness and obsession with physical appearance
- Seeking surgery to correct flaws
- Frequent examination in the mirror or complete avoidance of mirrors
- Severe belief in a defective appearance
- Avoidance of all social situations
- Excessive grooming and exercise
There is no known specific cause for body dismorphia. Doctors can diagnosis a patient if told about specific symptoms associated with body dismorphia. Exams and tests usually include a physical exam, lab tests, and psychological evaluation. Alcohol detox in Reno.
There are effective treatments available utilizing a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressant medications.
Speaking with a doctor is important because treatment is personalized for each patient. Although difficult, there has been success in helping people with body dismorphia to lead fulfilled lives.
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