Body Dysmorphia begins to manifest itself in adolescence, if not treated, it accompanies the person into adulthood.
In the face of this, if there is no intervention as soon as possible, it can trigger severe depression and even suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
What is Body Dysmorphia?
Body dysmorphia was discovered by psychiatrist Enrico Morselli in 1891. Body dysmorphia is the distorted way a person sees himself.
We are imperfect, we have particular physical characteristics and because of that, we will never fit the standard of perfection imposed by society.
Every individual would like to have something different in their appearance, even if it’s a small detail and that’s normal. When there is an excess, this desire becomes a disease: body dysmorphia.
Body dysmorphia causes perceived imperfections to become greater than they actually are. Because of this, they directly impact the patient’s life to the point of affecting their routine and relationships.
Unfortunately, body dysmorphia is common to bring several comorbidities and one of them is depression.
In addition, it is common for people suffering from this disorder to have suicidal thoughts. The sadness is so deep that the person no longer sees the meaning in life.
These feelings most often come from a rooted insecurity with several possible causes.
BDD: Body Dysmorphia Disorder
The technical name for body dysmorphia is Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). The constant thought that there is something very wrong with the appearance causes the bearer to isolate himself. Once that happens, avoid even looking in the mirror.
The overvaluation of imperfections negatively affects self-esteem and self-esteem. As a result, the disorder can reach a level where the individual begins to hide in different ways.
Faced with this, one of the ways he finds to hide is by limiting social interaction and using clothes and accessories to not show his body. All this in order to hide the imperfections that are identified by him.
Another aggravating factor is that most of the time imperfections are not noticeable to other people. As a result, the focus on imperfections becomes an obsession.
Body Dysmorphia Comorbidity: Depression
Comorbidity is when due to a disease, other diseases begin to manifest. For example, because of body dysmorphia, the person develops depression.
When comorbidity arises, the clinical picture becomes more difficult. Because instead of having to treat a disease, it is necessary to treat them together so that they are all treated.
Because of dysmorphia, the person begins to feel anger, frustration, shame, sadness and often is unable to react. As these feelings are surfaced, the depression.
Cause of Body Dysmorphia?
There are several possible causes and involves several factors. Therefore, genetic, neurochemical and environmental factors influence the onset of body dysmorphia.
In some cases, issues experienced in adolescence, such as comparisons, parental neglect, moving to another city, abuse and bullying, and help dysmorphia manifest themselves in adolescence or later in adulthood.
Society and social networks are contributing to the growth of BDD – Body Dysmorphic Disorder, as there is a mass of people who defend the constant search for perfection.
Symptoms of Body Dysmorphia
The most common symptom is behavioral, that is, those who suffer from BDD – Body Dysmorphic Disorder, compulsively undergo surgical interventions.
Interventions often stop being small adjustments to become complete transformations. Therefore, in several situations the person transforms to the point of becoming unrecognizable.
This reality is very sad, since there are currently several irreversible procedures. When it comes to a disease, after treatment it is expected that the person will have their perception adjusted again.
However, if the procedure has already been performed, there is no way to go back in time.
There are other symptoms that are identifying a person with body dysmorphia:
- Insecurity when leaving home
- Excessive preoccupation with appearance
- Continuous feeling of being the target of criticism
- Being hostage to others’ assessment of appearance
- Difficulty saying no
The diagnosis of body dysmorphia can be made by a psychiatrist or psychologist. One of the things that is taken into account are the small signs that the individual begins to manifest.
Excessive worry, negative thoughts, severe self-criticism regarding the face, body and social isolation are some of these signs.
Therefore, it is worth mentioning that the diagnosis can only be given by a qualified professional. As soon as the first signs are noticed, it is necessary to seek a psychiatrist or psychologist.
The most indicated treatment is through CBT – Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. This approach is the most indicated in the treatment of body dysmorphia.
Through CBT it is possible to reverse thought patterns and beliefs that harm mental health and self-esteem.
As treatment progresses, the patient learns to identify emotional triggers. From this, you can change the pattern of emotions that generate negative thoughts and behaviors.
Therefore, the individual begins to reflect on the attitudes he is taking and analyzes whether or not they are helping to solve the problem.
He starts to be able to identify if his attitudes are taking him away from the goal of overcoming the disease. As a result, he ceases to have such actions and follows the evolution of the therapy step by step.
The beauty of being imperfect
True beauty lies in our imperfection, because it is what makes us unique. Each person has a unique way of seeing life, so it is important to know where we place our expectations.
When we put our expectations on a social media photo, in society, on a TV show, we don’t know what the backstage is really like.
Beauty standards shouldn’t exist, we are more than a standard to be followed.
Real life is imperfect. We are imperfect. when we put aside the focus on our exterior, we start to value something that goes beyond what we can see, just feel.
Happiness is in loving ourselves as we are, imperfect!