Understanding Body Dysmorphic Disorder

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.

Respect yourself:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Overcome Bulimia nervosa and feel good about yourself

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by ways to remove excess food as perceived by the affected person by purging or using laxatives. This is called purging type of Bulimia. There is also the non-purging type and here people deal with not appreciating their self-image through excessive exercising and fasting.

We live in a world where the awareness of being healthy is prevalent evident from the increased number of health apps. People do inculcate healthy eating habits and find ways to stay healthy, but for someone with Bulimia the pre-occupation with body image is excessive to an extent that he/she suffers from mental and emotional trauma. The individual suffers self-harm, depression, loneliness, anxiety, alcohol and drug addiction and low self-esteem. An important point to remember is people with Bulimia are of normal weight or a little overweight. People who are underweight and purge suffer from purging type of anorexia.

What goes on in the mind of a person suffering from Bulimia?

People with Bulimia do not feel comfortable in their own skin; their mind is constantly filled with negative thoughts about the way they look. In order to know what really goes on in the mind of a person with Bulimia, watch out for these signs and symptoms. The affected person feels:

Depressed thinking about the way he/she looks and is totally dissatisfied with their body

They are anxious about the way society looks at them, mainly emerging from the dislike of appearance.

Social isolation sets in from the lack of confidence of looking good

Constant obsession with body and weight

How does it feel to be constantly engrossed in body shape and weight? The person is continuously thinking of food and finds ways to satisfy the urge of being uncomfortable. A person with Bulimia will eat in large amounts and then find ways to eliminate excess food through purging or misusing laxatives. This cycle of binge eating followed by purging is referred to as binge-purge cycle. There is the opposite effect as well where a person is immersed in fear of gaining weight compelling him or her to exercise or fast excessively to an unhealthy limit.

If you are concerned about a loved one having Bulimia, watch out for these behavioral patterns:

The person will indulge in a binge eating episode by eating huge amounts in a short span of time than indulging in regular eating patterns.

Once the person is compelled to binge eat, he/she feels uneasy and thinks this behavior cannot be stopped.

The person will spend money on buying more than needed groceries and will come up with excuses on why so much money was spent.

The person will eat until he/she feels totally uncomfortable.

Along with bingeing you should notice or recognize signs of purging if you or a loved one has Bulimia

He/she will visit the bathroom regularly during a meal or after a meal

You will notice unhealthy teeth and gums

Regular occurrence of sores in mouth and throat

Swollen salivary glands in cheeks

Caused by the side effects of vomiting you will notice scars, calluses or sores on hands or knuckles.

Harsh sounding voice

An important point to remember is Bulimia is fear of gaining weight and not looking good, a person with this condition suffers from lack of self-esteem. It is also necessary to understand the physical side effects such as abnormal bowel movement, dehydration, bloating, fatigue, fainting, seizure, irregular heartbeat, dry skin, no menstruation or menstrual irregularities, muscle cramps and tingling in feet or hands.

Bulimia nervosa results in imbalances in professional and personal life, the affected person is so unhappy about his/her appearance to an extent that it hinders leading a regular and productive life. The person gets into extreme social isolation, finds it difficult to get regular sleep, loss of interest in faith or religion, the person gets into drug and alcohol addiction from the need to fight being depressed about body image. The other severe side effects are internal bleeding, infertility, self-harm, heart attack, suicide and death.

What causes a person to become Bulimic?

It is the strive for perfectionism that triggers Bulimia and it stems from fitting in well into a society. In schools and universities there is peer pressure of being thin and according to reports this condition can be genetic. Media plays a big role and here the concept of beauty is equated to being thin and it has a negative consequence on the minds of people who are unhappy with the way they look.

People with history of emotional and sexual abuse are prone to suffer from Bulimia and their mind is constantly filled with the feeling of low self-worth and guilt. The co-occurring mental disorders associated with Bulimia are personality disorders, anxiety disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mood disorders, personality disorders and self-injury.

Helping a person with Bulimia:

A Bulimic person is totally dissatisfied with their self-image and they are constantly thinking about food and weight. They are of the view that being thin is considered to be normal and being responsible. A person suffering from this condition needs help and it is advised to visit a psychiatrist or counsellor. It is important for family members and friends to help those suffering from Bulimia. Along with a visit to doctor and psychotherapist, there are self-help methods as well.

The most important aspect is to accept yourself, and you can do this gradually by recognizing your good qualities like how creative and kind you are. Ponder upon the impact of your presence in workplace, friend circle, charity organization and so on.

Recognize that everybody has flaws and nobody is perfect, there is always some part of your body that is beautiful. Also, remember that there are people who will appreciate you for your kind words and good actions more than your self-image.

Whenever you feel negative about your self-image think about the people who appreciate you for the person you are. If you really want to change the way you look indulge in healthy exercise habits but don’t overdo it.

Stay away from people who criticize you and be around people who appreciate you, and write down every good deed you have done which can be as simple as feeding your kid or pet, taking your dog for a walk, cooking a good meal and so on.

The most important aspect about feeling better is try to eliminate negative thinking and work towards self-appreciation and self-confidence.

Whenever you feel stressed or anxious think about the positive deeds you have done and feel happy with yourself. It will take a while, but remember nobody is perfect and slowly bend towards feeling good about yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is possible to fight binge drinking

Binge drinking is consuming large quantities of alcohol within a short span of time, heavy drinking for men is drinking five or more drinks and for women it is four or more drinks in two hours. The intension to binge drink is to feel the pleasure of intoxication.

Why do people binge drink and how they get into the habit?

It is visibly evident that binge drinking is common among people of all ages, what is the reason behind this behavior?

The most common desire behind binge drinking is to have fun:

People binge drink to have fun, to just enjoy a relaxed weekend and celebrate their hard work. Individuals who are experiencing high levels of stress drink in large amounts to feel relaxed and tide away from pressure. The place where binge drinking is enormously high is in parties and here the main focal point of enjoyment is liquor.

To socialize and feel more confident:

People with high levels of social anxiety find it a challenge to socialize and they hence drink to feel less anxious. For people who are socially anxious drinking is considered to be a good way to fit in among an excited large crowd.

To feel dominant:

This holds good for people who hold high positions in work place and who want to show-off their elite image. Such individuals participate in binge drinking competitions to showcase their high authority image.

To let go of their issues:

One of the primary reasons to binge drink is to let go of daily stress, and this enables people to drink continuously within a short span of time. The affected person is involved in drinking to a vast degree of not knowing or being aware of the consequences of alcohol abuse. They use alcohol as a coping mechanism.

To fight peer pressure or the challenge of being accepted:

Drinking is perceived to be cool among high school and university crowds, and the concept of drinking is strong emphasized. It is forced among people to drink to fit in and people among friends circle who binge drink are forced into this crowd to a larger degree.

Curiosity:

First time drinkers want the taste of alcohol from just being curious about what it is all about. This is particularly true among teenagers and university students after hearing about another person’s experience.

The other reasons to binge drink are genetics and family history of alcohol abuse.

How to determine if there is a drinking problem?

If you are concerned that either you or close friends and family having drinking problem then watch out for these signs.

The person tends to feel huge levels of guilt or shame about drinking

Tendency to hide binge drinking behavior or lie to friends

Friends and family who are overly concerned about the affected person’s binge drinking problem.

The urge to drink to feel relaxed

Drink in greater quantities than the normal amount.

Behavioral symptoms of binge drinking:

Binge drinking obstructs normal day to day functions and relationships, and this happens when the person drinks to an extent of not being aware of children’s responsibility and performing badly in school and work place.

Being under the influence of alcohol in unsafe situations, here the person is intoxicated while driving and he or she also mixes prescription medication with drinks.

He/she continues to drink even while being aware of the fact that it is causing a strain on relationships and day to day life.

A majority of people drink to relieve stress and they indulge in alcohol after encountering stressful moments with family, colleagues or boss.

Major symptoms of alcohol dependence:

Alcohol use disorder also referred to as alcoholism is when a person is habituated to uncontrolled drinking. He/she uses increased alcohol consumption as a medium to fight life’s issues and also becomes dependent on it even when it hinders relationships and daily routine performance.

When a person is extremely pre-occupied with alcohol and uses it as a primary medium to beat reality, then he/she has alcohol dependence problem.

The first major warning sign of alcoholism is tolerance:

He/she is tolerant to excessive alcohol consumption that goes beyond the legal moderate drinking limit. This is a regular habit and the person consumers many glasses or bottles and develops tolerance and the same habit continues regularly.

Withdrawal is the second major warning sigh of alcohol dependence:

When a person becomes alcohol dependent he/she is unable to control the urge to reduce the amount of drink. The affected person will drink to let go of withdrawal symptoms, when excess alcohol is consumed the body is accustomed to the increased level and if he/she tries to cut down withdrawal symptoms emerge.

Watch out for these withdrawal and physical symptoms:

Headache, reduced appetite intake, fatigue, irritability, depression, lack of sleep, nausea and vomiting, sweating, shivers, anxiety or impulsivity. The other more severe symptoms are agitation, fever, seizure and confusion. Long term alcohol abuse damages liver and causes problems with brain, nervous system, stomach, heart. The other major medical complications are osteoporosis, cancer, sexual problems and high blood pressure.

How do people develop alcohol dependence?

Alcoholism or alcohol dependence is a kind of addiction and there are two variations physical and psychological.

Physical addiction:

Physical addiction towards alcoholism stems from the need to drink to get high. Increased amount of drinking results in chemical changes in brain and it causes the person to get high and experience pleasurable feeling. This kind of sensation compels a person to get into binge drinking and the body develops tolerance towards pleasurable high.

Psychological addiction:

Psychological addiction stems from dealing with stress, and this is not related to chemical changes in the brain. The intension behind depending on alcohol is to ease emotional strain, and the intensity of addiction causes a person to develop guilt, despair and shame.

Helping a person with binge drinking:

A person with an alcohol dependence problem will deny that they ever have an issue because of the constant feel of guilt and shame. It is however possible to get over binge drinking from medication and psychotherapy. It is achievable to fight drinking through self-help methods as well.

The power to fight binge drinking happens gradually, and it is first important to recognize the fact that you have a tendency to binge drink and try to remove the feeling of shame and realize you are not alone.

Once you feel comfortable coming to terms with binge drinking, slowly develop thought process about yourself and family and the enjoyable and productive life you want to lead.

Once you have reduced consumption of alcohol write down your rewards and celebrate it with the activities you enjoy.

Whenever you experience alcohol cravings think about how successful you were in reducing intake and it will compel you to get into recovery and over time beat the addiction.