The theme looking nice is engraved in many individuals, this is true particularly during fun and significant occasions such as parties, home gathering, celebration moments and so on. During such events people put in their best effort to look good and spend hours just deciding on what outfit to wear and how best to look attractive. There are also people who are just unhappy with the way they look and they consider themselves to be ugly and such individuals suffer from (BDD) Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
People with BDD have characteristics similar to eating disorders and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The distinction between people with BDD and eating disorder is people with eating disorder are pre-occupied with body and weight and individuals with BDD are concerned about how a particular part of their body look. The similarity between BDD and OCD is performing rituals such as picking the skin and standing in front of the mirror for hours.
People who suffer from BDD are totally unsatisfied with the way they look and there are parts of the body which they are uncomfortable with. The areas of the body that appear totally unappealing are size and shape of nose, body weight, color of hair on head and body hair. The affected person is also unhappy with blemishes, acne, scars and wrinkles on skin. The sufferer is also unhappy with the shape and size of any part of his/her body which includes thighs, arms, feet and so on.
How can we really determine if a person has BDD? Watch out for these behavioral characteristics.
The person is constantly looking in the mirror and in order to cover the perceived unattractive part, he/she will wear clothes to cover the area that is termed unlikable. He/she will even meddle with skin.
The sufferer will frequently consult with loved ones if he/she looks good and whether they have covered the undesired part.
You will notice the person will repeatedly experiment with the disliked body part
The person is obsessed with the way he/she looks and his/her mind is regularly focused on what is considered the ugly body part. Such as obsession has a detrimental effect on professional and personal life.
The affected person becomes anti-social and feels uncomfortable in public fearing being judged.
The sufferer will often visit dermatologist or plastic surgeon to just be able to fix the body part that is considered to be ugly.
What causes a person to suffer from BDD?
How do people get BDD and repeatedly dislike their appearance caused by the dislike of certain parts of their body? This disorder starts during adolescent period and men and women are equally affected. BDD occurs in people with anxiety disorders and major depression, researchers are not able to predict the actual cause of this disorder and it is said this condition emerges from environmental and biological factors such as improper functioning of serotonin in the brain, personality disorders, neurobiological factors and genes too is known to play a significant role.
The main factors that increases a person’s likelihood of suffering from BDD is
When a person is constantly criticized by loved ones about appearance
Lack of self-esteem
Experience of emotional and mental abuse during childhood.
Helping a person with BDD to cope with what they consider to be body flaws:
It isn’t a good feeling for people with BDD to hate themselves because of the dislike of certain parts of their body and the way they look. Everybody wants to lead a normal life feeling good about themselves and so does a BDD sufferer, but they are just uncomfortable in their own skin. A visit to the doctor and psychologist is important for treatment, there are also self-help methods as well. It is important for loved ones to recognize the emotional trauma of a BDD person and help them feel important.
Also if you are suffering from BDD you can gradually work towards liking and accepting yourself. You can work on these self-help methods.
Focus on your admirable qualities:
When you are frequently worried and embarrassed about certain parts of your body and your appearance being deformed, it is not easy to let go of negative thoughts. However uneasy it may be aim to focus on your good qualities. You certainly do have strengths that makes you a good person, ponder upon all the good qualities you possess and successes you have earned. Maintain a diary and write down the good things you have done such as helping an elderly person, taking care of children, taking dog for a walk and so on.
Get rid of negative thoughts with activity:
For people who are not happy about being overweight or obese, tell yourself you look good, but you want to be healthy. To get distracted from negative thoughts do activities that are fun like dancing, or simple exercises at home. You can even form a group and go for a fun run or jog.
Gradually try to respect yourself and consider your body to be a gift, without which you would never exist. Tell yourself it is your body and you have to cherish it nobody else will.
Keep a distance from negative source:
However perfect a person is there will always be external sources who will criticize, it is important for a person with BDD to stay away from negative influence. It will only build the feeling of anxiety and embarrassment. Media is also a negative source, but it is not always easy to avoid the portrayal of perfect bodies and looks on television. If such a scenario makes you feel uncomfortable remember it is what you see on TV, real life situations are different.
Find your kind of individuals:
Remember you are not alone there is a significant number of people who are dissatisfied with the way they look. In order to feel better help yourself and others who are also suffering from BDD and form a group. The group can comprise of two to four people, it is just about finding people who are just like you.
Slowly fight BDD and accept and respect yourself for who you are.