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5 Signs and Symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Updated on October 5, 2014

When I was a teenager girl, I suffered from a severe case of bulimia, and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Body Dysmorphic Disorder occurs when a person sees themselves unrealistically in terms of size of their body, such as many anorexics and some bulimics do. Not all bulimics have Body Dysmorphic Disorder; some know they're skinny, and want to keep it that way. I wasn't like that, I thought I was obese, and so I starved myself.

At age 19, I was five feet and 7 inches tall, and at my lightest, I weighed around 99 pounds. The average scale to determine a healthy weight for a woman is by calculating the following formula: if you are 5 feet tall, you should be 100 pounds; for every additional inch add 5-7 pounds. However, this is just a guideline, and by no means is it set in stone. For me personally, by using that scale to average a healthy weight, I was 35 pounds underweight.

There are many signs and symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, but each person will have their own unique symptoms.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a clinical term referenced in a psychologist's guide for diagnosing individuals. This book is called the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DMV).

Symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder include:

1. Many Sufferers Will Hide the Shape of One’s Body.

Some individuals may camouflage the shape of their body by using different types of clothing, makeup, hair, hats, and so forth. People can get pretty creative when they are trying to hide something.

2. Compare Body to Others, Especially Stick Thin Celebrities.

Many times they compare their body with other people's bodies, especially a stick thin celebrity.. This often occurs when women, and especially teenagers, see celebrities on the cover, and don't realize that they are almost always photo shopped, or that it took hours and hours to achieve their look. Most of these stars just don't roll out of bed looking this beautiful.

3. Many Sufferers Will Have Lots of Plastic Surgery.

Many people who have Body Dysmorphic will seek unnecessary surgery to alter one's appearance. Surgery can be very risky, and the person might not like the way they look like afterwards. There are many surgery mishaps, Tara Reid, Bruce Jenner, Joan Rivers, in my humble opinion. Plus, surgery is expensive, dangerous, and can be addictive (Just look at Joan River).

4. Many Sufferers Will Avoid Mirrors.

Many individuals with Body Dysmorphic Disorder will constantly avoid mirrors at all costs. However, some people who suffer from the same condition will stare at themselves in the mirror for hours at a time.

5. Many Sufferers Will Change Their Clothes Often.

Many individuals with this condition will change their clothes excessively, thinking that the next outfit will make them look skinnier.

6. Many Sufferers Will Wear a lot of Back.

Many of those with Body Dysmorphic Disorder will wear a lot of black, since it is slimming. However, wearing so much black can cause a person to fall deeper into depression.

If you or someone you know at have Body Dysmorphic Disorder, call (800) 931-2237, open 24/7.

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