Recognizing Signs of Body Dysmorphia

Things Worth Celebrating in May
Things Worth Celebrating in May
May 1, 2023
How to Handle Living With Hypochondria
How to Handle Living With Hypochondria
May 5, 2023

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a common mental health condition that affects many people across the United States. If you struggle with body dysmorphia, you may obsessively focus on perceived flaws in your physical appearance. The flaw you may perceive to exist could involve your weight or some other physical aspect. You may think that it stands in the way of your ability to be happy and enjoy life.

Body dysmorphia can affect anyone regardless of background, gender, or nationality. It most commonly begins in the teen and young adult years but can occur at any point in life. When this issue goes unaddressed, it can really take a toll on your mental health. Some people even turn to substance misuse to cope.

The good news is that it is possible to recover from body dysmorphia and achieve happiness again.

Understanding Body Dysmorphia

If you struggle with body dysmorphia, you likely have a skewed vision of what you actually look like. When you look in the mirror, all you see are your perceived flaws. You don’t see the positive things about yourself. In most cases, the way you view yourself is not the way others view you.

In fact, many people likely don’t even see the flaw that you may feel is overwhelmingly evident. Perhaps you feel consumed with the need to fix or change the things you don’t like about yourself. Some people go to extreme and unhealthy lengths to do this, including turning to excessive plastic surgery. Sometimes this can lead to plastic surgery addiction and other problems.

In many cases, people with BDD who try to change their appearance are never truly satisfied with how they look, regardless of what they do. This can really make life challenging, and some people with body dysmorphia even have thoughts of suicide or harming themselves.

In other cases, people with BDD believe themselves to be overweight when they’re really not. This can morph into an eating disorder in those situations.

Understanding Why Body Dysmorphia Occurs

It’s not always clear why body dysmorphia occurs. It can even be present in someone who most would consider very attractive. No matter how many times they may be validated or are told how attractive they are, they might still struggle to believe it. A person might be able to point toward a specific life event that caused them to develop body dysmorphia, or they may not.

Sometimes, body dysmorphia is caused by bullying or being made to believe that you’re not attractive by another person. This can happen in toxic relationships and can be a tactic that a partner may use to try to manipulate or belittle the other person. It can also be the result of some type of abuse that you experienced, even from a long time ago. Body dysmorphia can also be simply caused by genetics and is something that runs in one’s family.

Recognizing the Signs of Body Dysmorphia

Do you think you may be struggling with body dysmorphia? There are some questions you can ask yourself to try to determine if you are. It’s important to remember that everyone’s experience with body dysmorphia is unique. Try to answer the following questions as honestly as possible:

  • Do you often find yourself checking out your appearance in the mirror?
  • Are there days when you avoid looking in the mirror altogether because you don’t want to see what you look like?
  • Do you avoid social activities when your confidence is low?
  • How much time do you spend in the bathroom grooming or trying to change how you look? Is it an excessive amount?
  • Do you often find yourself asking others how you look or seeking validation from them?
  • When people tell you that you look good, do you struggle to believe them?
  • Do you often find yourself picking at your skin or unable to leave blemishes alone so they can heal?
  • How much money do you spend trying to change your appearance? Would you consider it excessive?
  • Do you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others in terms of physical appearance?
  • Are there times when you exercise excessively or limit your food intake in order to try to lose weight?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be struggling with body dysmorphia. But don’t worry; there is help available and recovery is possible for you.

Recovery From Body Dysmorphia

If you’re struggling with body dysmorphia, the best thing that you can do is to reach out to your primary care provider. They can help provide you with a diagnosis and help you get started with treatment. In many cases, therapy is recommended to help you get past your skewed vision of yourself. Medication prescribed by a doctor can also help in finding lasting relief.

If you’re struggling with body dysmorphia, you may feel as if there is no way out. You might feel as if you’ve tried everything possible to come to terms with who you are and like yourself, but nothing is working. No matter how long this has gone on, there is hope, and you can recover. Don’t wait; reach out for help today. Sometimes body dysmorphia can lead to substance misuse. If this is your situation, be sure to reach out to our team at The Kimberly Center at (855) 452-3683. We can help you take your life back from addiction. Call us today, and we will be happy to answer any questions you have. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *