Body Dysmorphic Disorder Articles

Body dysmorphic disorder is when someone believes that they have flaws or defects in the way that they look. They are preoccupied with their appearance and convinced that even minor imperfections make them unattractive and undesirable. Sometimes this can result in the avoidance of social activities and public places like pools or locker rooms where their body can be observed. People with BDD have a distorted concept of how they appear to others.

People with BDD obsess over how they look and are preoccupied with body image to an unreasonable extent. They often look in mirrors and ask other people to reassure them that they are attractive many times. They engage in repetitive behaviors to make sure that they are covering what they perceive to be a flaw that makes them “ugly.”

Coping With Body Image Issues In The Modern World

Body image issues in the modern world are, unfortunately, incredibly common and talk about these issues, and their origin is comparatively scarce. Opening a discussion about...

What Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder? Definition, Criteria, & Diagnosis

Body dysmorphic disorder, also sometimes shortened to body dysmorphia or BDD, is a condition that causes people to obsess over how they look and have a negative perception of...

Why Taking a Body Dysmorphia Test Can Help You Start Getting the Help You Need

When it comes to mental illnesses, the problem for most individuals is that these symptoms can seem as though they are part of your personality rather than indicators of an...

What Everyone Should Know About Social Media And Body Image

In today’s hyperconnected world, it can be hard to escape messaging about body image. Between Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and countless other social media networks, men...

The Link Between Body Image And The Media And Its Damaging Effects

The relationship between the media and how we perceive our bodies has increased in power and strength over the years, especially with the rise in social media users and...

Physical Appearance And Self-Esteem Connection

One of the things we all struggle with, men and women alike, is our looks. When does this happen? It can happen at any point. When we’re in...

What Is The Best Type Of Body Dysmorphic Disorder Treatment For Me?

Body dysmorphic disorder is a very treatable condition. Many people who seek body dysmorphic disorder treatment find that they are completely relieved of symptoms at the end of...

What Is Body Dysmorphia And How Is It Treated

Body dysmorphia is a rare mental illness that is not often understood. It is frequently misdiagnosed as obsessive-compulsive disorder or depression because it can share some...

Can Muscle Dysmorphia Be Considered An Eating Disorder?

Muscle dysmorphia is a disorder that can affect both men and women, but it is most commonly known as being problematic mainly for males, especially adolescents and younger...

How Your Body Image Affects You

As the name suggests, body image is defined as “a person’s perception of the aesthetics or sexual attractiveness of their own body.” American society is infamous for encouraging...

Help! Why Do I Hate My Body?

Have you ever faced in front of the mirror and thought “I hate my body”? If yes, then you must be suffering from poor body image. In the age of technology and social media,...

Why Don’t I Love My Body? A Description Of What It's Like To Have Body Dysmorphic Disorder

We’ve all been there; you can’t find anything to wear, we ask our friends if an outfit makes us look fat, we ask our friends if a blemish is noticeable or we look in the mirror...

Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn, LMFT, MA

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder, commonly referred to as BDD, is a severe disorder that causes an individual to become extremely fixated on a perceived flaw (or multiple flaws) in their physical appearance. A person with BDD has a warped perception of how they appear. It is not the same as lacking confidence in physical appearance. We all feel unsure about our physical appearance at times and we are all subject to being self-critical of our perceived flaws. For a person with BDD, however, these perceived flaws and deformities are so severe and alarming that it impairs the individual's ability to function in their daily life. It can be an extremely debilitating condition, especially if it is left untreated.


BDD is About More Than Your Body

In our society, it is hard to see our bodies as they are. Women and men alike are exposed to damaging body standards on a daily basis. Media exposure to a limited amount of body shapes and sizes can be detrimental to someone with BDD. For example, only seeing thin women in media or seeing women with visible abdominal muscles can set an arbitrary standard. This is unrealistic for most women. In fact, an extremely low body fat percentage can disrupt the menstrual cycle, your physical health, and mental health. It’s not that these body types are “wrong” in any way. Some people are completely healthy with these body types - it’s more that we aren’t exposed to a wider variety of bodies, which can warp our self-perception. Beauty standards like these can be a contributing factor to the development of BDD. Despite the name, Body Dysmorphic Disorder doesn’t just focus on your body shape or size. Many people with BDD fixate on perceived flaws on their face as well, such as their nose. A person with BDD may feel that their nose is deformed and that they cannot show their face to the rest of the world. This can limit their ability to leave the house lead to agoraphobia.

Connection to Eating Disorders

It is very common for eating disorders to coincide with Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Eating disorders do not discriminate. People of all genders, ethnicities, ages, income levels, and body sizes, can develop a life-threatening eating disorder. Over 30 million people in the United States alone are suffering from an eating disorder. Eating disorders are not limited to Anorexia and Bulimia. Other eating disorders include Binge Eating Disorder, excessive exercise, and an obsessive need for eating healthy. Excessive exercise can be a sign - or even the main symptom - of several eating disorders. It tends to be praised in our society, despite the damage that it can cause to a person’s body. BDD paired with an eating disorder contributes to the detrimental cycle of malnutrition and can cause a person’s self-perception to become even more inaccurate. Both conditions can cause a person to “body check” by looking in the mirror excessively throughout the day. Rituals and behaviors like this can become highly intrusive. Comorbid conditions aside from eating disorders are frequently diagnosed in individuals with BDD as well. These conditions can include but are not limited to anxiety disorders and depression or other mood disorders. Whether you are suffering from BDD on its own or a comorbid disorder as well, you don’t have to go through this alone.


Online Therapy

Mental health treatment for BDD is becoming increasingly available and shows success in treating the condition. Online therapy is convenient. It allows you to meet with your therapist in the privacy of your own home. It can be especially helpful for those with BDD who have become so impaired by the condition that they find it hard to leave their homes. There’s something intimate about online therapy; it allows you to feel safe. If you suspect that you suffer from BDD, body image disturbances, an eating disorder, or any other mental health condition, there is a database of mental health professionals on BetterHelp that are equipped to help you manage these conditions and develop coping skills. Over time, you will be able to see yourself more accurately and live your life to your fullest potential.


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