Body Dysmorphic Disorder- The term sounds as if it indicates a physical disorder. But if you think, so it is wrong because this is a mental disorder. A situation where a person becomes too conscious about their looks: even the smallest pimple makes them feel uneasy. Let us today understand how this disorder (BDD) is impacting today’s generation.
At a certain age in life, every one of us is concerned about our appearance a little too much, but in BDD, it becomes an obsession. A person can waste all their time spend money on the so-called disformity, which in reality would not even matter to a normal person. People in 15 – 30 are most likely to get affected. Gender wise a woman is more prone to have BDD than a man. As per a study done in 2010, LGBTQ+ people get affected most than heterosexual people. Rejection, bullying etc., increase the risk of BDD in LGBTQ+ people.
BDD can also have genetic links; a study has shown that at least 8% of people having BDD are closely related to those who have had BDD in their lifetime. People who have faced body-shaming in their childhood can also develop BDD. This is because a person becomes conscious about their appearance, and they start becoming more critical about their appearance.
Over the period of time, the symptoms may come and go in a person, or the focus towards a specific body part can also change. For example, the nose, the mouth, the teeth, the hair etc. This could lead to a changed behaviour like
• Becoming too self-conscious
• Touching or fidgeting with the part where they feel there is a flaw
• Researching the flaw over and over on the internet
• Staying aloof from friends and family and self-care, just stay bothered about the so-called flaw
• Checking the mirror continuously or not looking at the mirror at all
• Trying to hide the flaw by using makeup or wig
• Spending time and money on cosmetologists and surgeons to rectify the so-called flaws
Telling a person with BDD will not help them. Seeking expert medical advice is what they need. Over the period of time right counselling and medications can help a person get better for BDD. But while in the course of treatment, one should pay good attention to the patient because the feeling of being incomplete due to the so-called flaws can lead them to depression, and one cannot deny the possibility of suicidal tendency.
A cosmetic surgeon can also alert the family members if they feel the patient is visiting them despite having no significant flaw. Because even if the patient undergoes surgery, they will not feel happy about it; they will start picking flaws in the post-surgery appearance. Thus psychiatric help becomes an important and only way out.
With the development we see in technology these days, today’s generation is aware of the availabilities of the solution for averting the flaws they see. Shen actors make news for their cosmetic surgeries; people with BDD feel the urge more. There is a lack of awareness about inner beauty.
If a person suffering from BDD doesn’t get medical attention soon, there is a high probability that the person will waste their whole life doing nothing but being conscious about his her looks. It may cause them to lose their careers, family, friends etc.
So friends, if you see someone around you with the symptoms mentioned above. Please educate their families and seek medical help asap.