- Mental Health
Body Dysmorphic Disorder- Understand to Prevent it
What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Body Dysmorphic Disorder or BDD is a mental illness in which the affected person is highly concerned about one's body image. The obsession can be directed to ones facial features such as ear, nose, eyes or any other part of the body. This results in ritualistic behavior such as excessive washing of face or hands, checking in the mirror often, repeated questions posed to others of how they look etc. BDD has been classified under obsessive compulsive disorder and if untreated can affect a person's normal life even leading to depression.
What Causes BDD
The onset of BDD and why it affects certain group of people has been a highly debatable issue. Some of the below reasons do contribute to this illness
1. Studies has shown that certain genes can trigger BDD. If any one member of the family suffers from BDD, there is a 7% chance that others related to him might also carry the specific gene pool.
2. Decrease in the sufficient production of Neurotransmitters such as Seratonin, can play a significant part.
3.Environmental Factors, Society, Negative experience due to self image can cause BDD
Symptoms Associated with BDD
These are the common ritual characteristics displayed by the affected person
1. Obsessive washing of hands, face or any other part of the body. This is often directed to the area over which the patient feels thoughtful discomfort.
2. Excessively checking appearance in front of mirror. In sharp contrast, some sufferers avoid looking at their reflection.
3. Anxiety and stress related to their perceived flaw and focus mainly on it for long hours, through out the day.
4. Maintaining constant reassurance from others on how they look. This does not however elevate their mood, which results in a doubtful personality.
5. Display suicide tendency through thought and action. Feels unworthy, becomes an introvert.
6.Taking refuge in Cosmetic Surgery. Not satisfied with the outcome, can lash out at Surgeons, Dermatologists, even resorting to destructive actions.
7. Feels being viewed negatively by everyone all the time. Avoids public areas as much as possible.
Yes, BDD is Curable
Through proper medication and counseling, Body Dysmorphic Disorder can be cured. The following methods can be used to justify this claim.
1. Though counseling, the patient must understand the real problem is not with their body, but the though process within their mind. The patient's perspective view is obscured by the blind faith that a simple, unnoticeable flaw make them unfit to have a normal social life. The real truth is BDD sufferers looks every bit normal or some cases very attractive to a third person.
2. Anti depressant medicines can provide relief from anxiety and stress and also bring them back to normal active life.
3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can yield good results for BDD patients. The essence of this therapy is to change the awareness level of the patient, his/her wrong way of thinking and remove the negative thoughts replacing them with constructive ones. Participation and Reassurance of a family member or friend can also add benefit to the treatment.