What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

While the majority of us have something that we really don’t like about our appearance — a wonky nose, an uneven smile, or big ears – many people come to get used to their floors with age. We may still moan about our imperfections, but they don’t interfere with our day-to-day lives.

For some people though, it is much more serious than simply disliking something about themselves. Body Dysmorphic Disorder is when people becoming consumed by they flaws – be they real of in their own heads. When you have BDD it can be hard to control your negative thoughts and feelings and believe people who tell you that you look fine.

This can cause severe emotional distress and interfere with every part of your life.

People with BDD can dislike ANY part of their body, although they often find fault with their hair, skin, nose, weight. In reality, a defect may be only a slight imperfection or totally nonexistent. 

This can lead to you miss work, avoid social situations and isolate yourself, even from family and friends, because you fear others may notice your flaws.

As a result of this, the may even undergo unnecessary plastic surgeries to correct their perceived imperfections! The number of cosmetic surgery claims has increased in the last 3 years by almost 50% – largely due to many people opting for the cheapest surgery they can find in order to “fix” themselves.

When somebody has Body Dysmorphic Disorder they can view themselves in a totally different way to how they actually look. For example, someone who is of a healthy weight may see themselves as overweight, or someone who is trying to gain muscle may look very muscular and strong but see themselves as small and weak. For this reason, it can ber very hard to other people to understand their disorder – as they simply don’t see what the person is seeing.

BDD most typically develops during our teenage years, and despite popular belief, research shows that it affects men and women almost equally. When people have Body Dysmorphic Disorder they can often act compulsively and demonstrate or repetitive behaviour to try to hide or improve their flaws. For example:

  • excessive grooming
  • excessive exercise
  • camouflaging (with body position, clothes, makeup, hair, etc.)
  • comparing body part to others appearance daily
  • seeking cosmetic surgery
  • either constantly checking in a mirror, or totally avoiding mirrors

Do you know anyone that has suffered from body dysmorphia? Do you suffer from it? Please comment below, we would love to hear about your past trials and tribulations with the disorder.

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