Why Taking a Body Dysmorphia Test Can Help You Start Getting the Help You Need
By: Dylan Buckley
Updated August 28, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Kelly L. Burns, MA, LPC, ATR-P
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 underlying mental health issue that can be treated to provide the person in question with a better quality of life.
Among one of these seemingly normal issues is body dysmorphic disorder. As humans, we typically place an enormous amount of focus and importance on our appearance and, because of this, those who are intensely focused on their looks generally don't take notice that there may be something wrong as they may believe that they should be heavily focused on certain aspects of their looks.
There is a healthy difference between wanting to make changes and fixating on certain things on your body that you may or may not be able to change, which can be especially harmful if you have already sought to make the necessary changes but are still not satisfied. To better help, you determine whether or not you may have body dysmorphic disorder and to emphasize the importance of getting the help you need for the disorder, take a look at this body dysmorphia quiz and more information about the condition and what can be done to help lessen the severity of the symptoms.
What Is Body Dysmorphia?
Body dysmorphic disorder, also known as body dysmorphia, is a condition in which the affected individual can't stop thinking about perceived flaws on their body, which may often be unnoticeable or seem very minor to other people who can see the same parts that are standing out to the person.
Unlike other people, those who body dysmorphia will obsess over their appearance, so much so to the point that they must consistently check mirrors or receive assurance from other people to make sure that their looks are okay. This type of anxiety will cause significant distress to the person who is affected and will make it hard for them to function properly in their day-to-day lives.
Other signs and symptoms of body dysmorphia include:
- A very strong belief that there is something wrong with your body that makes the person feel deformed or ugly
- A strong belief that other people are taking notice of and making judgments of certain parts of their body that the person is insecure about
- Engaging in obsessive, impulsive behavior targeted towards the perceived issues on the body, which may manifest in behaviors such as skin picking or frequently checking the mirror
- Trying to hide these problems through clothes or makeup
- Consistently comparing yourself to other people, especially comparing the parts that someone is unhappy with
- Showing perfectionist tendencies that also interrupt daily life
- Avoiding social situations so as to avoid having to deal with people potentially judging you
- Trying to find solutions for your problem, often to your dissatisfaction
People with body dysmorphic disorder can be obsessed and unsatisfied with any part of their body and this condition may develop as a result of problems with brain structure or chemicals, because of genes passed down through generations, as well as certain environmental factors.
Fortunately enough, body dysmorphic disorder is treatable with the right course of therapy and other means.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder Quiz
While body dysmorphic cases may not be as clear as others, there are some common signs that indicate that you may have body dysmorphia. Here are some typical questions that are asked during a body dysmorphic disorder quiz and ones that may better help you to determine whether or not you may have the disorder.
- Do you often consciously (compulsively and obsessively) use reflective surfaces such as mirrors to check your appearance and keep track of your perceived flaw?
- Do you often worry excessively about one or more parts of your body that you believe to be a flaw that affects your physical appearance?
- Do you instead avoid reflective surfaces in an attempt to not look at your appearance so as to prevent yourself from seeing your perceived flaws?
- Do you perceived flaws worry you so much that you choose to avoid social situations in order to prevent others from seeing these flaws?
- Are you often taking note of your flaws over time or attempting to touch or change them regularly?
- Do you attempt to regularly hide your flaws using things such as cosmetics, clothing, or hairstyles?
- Do you find yourself regularly comparing yourself to other people around you to see how your flaw compares to features on people you may perceive as "normal" or "regular"?
- Do you try to position yourself in certain ways or stay in hidden areas in public as a way to hide your perceived flaw?
- Do you dedicate a significant amount of time towards grooming activities that are related to trying to fix the perceived flaw that you believe you have? (For example, if you believe that your teeth are very yellow, you spend a considerable amount of time brushing your teeth throughout the day.)
- Do you consistently think about getting surgery or are you currently pursuing cosmetic treatments or procedures that you believe would help you fix your perceived flaw?
- Have you undergone cosmetic procedures in the past, only to be unsatisfied with the results immediately afterward or shortly after the procedure was done? Have you continued to pursue these cosmetic procedures after getting procedures in the past so that you could continue to work on your perceived flaws?
- Does your perceived flaw cause you great distress or has it led to additional mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression?
- Do you find yourself consistently late to important events because of your perceived flaw and is it impacting both your personal and professional life?
- Do you avoid certain events or appearing in pictures due to your perceived flaws?
While this is not the most comprehensive body dysmorphia test that is available, this is an extensive one that will give you a better idea of whether or not you are dealing with the disorder and is a great place to start if you are currently having issues with the way that you perceive yourself and need more support to back up this theory.
What Do I Do Now?
The hardest first step in receiving treatment for any mental health disorder is acknowledging and creating awareness around the issue at hand. When you are dealing with a mental health disorder that has been allowed to carry on for years unchecked or unregulated, the symptoms that accompany these issues can almost seem as though they are part of who you are rather than part of a very treatable problem. Once you are aware of the issue and are able to acknowledge that treatment is a possibility for you, however, it becomes much easier to take the first steps needed to realize this goal.
Another major issue that often comes in the way of certain individuals is self-diagnosing or attempting to take care of a major mental health disorder on their own. While the test above does help to give you a better indication of whether or not you may have the disorder, it needs to be diagnosed by a mental health professional who can better guide you along the treatment process and provide you with the tools and other resources you need to overcome your disorder and to do so as quickly and successfully as possible so as to avoid any further complications in the future.
With that in mind, the most common question that people may have is, how do I get started? There are often two ways to jumpstart the healing process and begin your path to a life no longer limited by body dysmorphia. The first method you can use is to seek out a live counselor in your area who specializes in these types of disorders and who can provide you with the proper therapy and resources necessary to help you cope with the symptoms and work your way through them. For many, this is a viable option but you may live in an area where there are not many counselors around you that are the right fit or perhaps you have time constraints that limit your travel and make it impossible for you to get to the appointments that you need.
Fortunately enough, there are plenty of amazing online resources available for anyone who has these kinds of issues so that they can sidestep these common issues and get the help they need. One resource that is always available to you when you need it is BetterHelp. BetterHelp is an online counseling platform that gives you 24/7 access to certified therapists who can tackle all types of mental health disorders. All you have to do is answer a couple of quick questions and you will be connected to a therapist who can help you deal with your specific problems and provide you with a flexible schedule that will give you the freedom you need to balance your life and your treatment. If you think that this would be a better route for you or if you have tried counselors in your area but want to extend your reach without having to go to great lengths to reach counselors outside of your area, click on the link above to be brought to the website and start your counseling journey today!
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