Body Dysmorphia

Body Dysmorphia

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), also known as body dysmorphia, is a mental health condition where a person obsesses over perceived flaws in their appearance, which appear minor or is not noticed by others.

What is body dysmorphia?

Body dysmorphic disorder does not imply that you are vain or self-obsessed. It has the potential to be really distressing and have a significant influence on your life.

Body dysmorphic disorder can affect people of any age, however it is most frequent in teenagers and young adults. Both men and women are affected.

You might try a variety of cosmetic procedures to "correct" your perceived defect. You may feel momentary relief or a lessening in your distress thereafter, but the anxiety usually returns, and you may begin looking for alternative ways to correct your perceived flaw.

Symptoms and diagnosis

If any of the following apply to you, you may have body dysmorphic disorder:

  • You are extremely preoccupied with a specific area of your body (particularly your face) others don't notice or think is trivial
  • You have a strong conviction that you have a physical flaw that makes you look ugly or deformed
  • You believe that others make a nasty comment or mock you because of your appearance
  • You spend a lot of time comparing your appearance to other people's appearances on a regular basis
  • You look in mirrors a lot or avoid mirrors completelyyou perform difficult to control activities in an effort to fix or hide defects, for example, by combing your hair, applying make-up, or choosing clothes
  • You may pick at your skin to make it "smooth"
  • You have a tendency to be a perfectionist
  • You frequently seek assurance from others about your appearance

Preoccupation with your looks, as well as obsessive thoughts and repetitive actions, can be unwelcome, difficult to manage, and time-consuming, causing significant distress or problems in your social life, work, education, and personal relationships and can lead to depression, self-harm and even thoughts of suicide.

You can be preoccupied on one or more parts of your body. The bodily feature on which you place your focus may shift throughout time. The following are the most prevalent characteristics that people obsess over:

  • Nose, complexion, wrinkles, acne, and other imperfections on the face
  • Hair issues such as thinning, baldness, and appearance
  • Skin and veins
  • Breast size
  • Muscle size and tone
  • Genitalia

Muscle dysmorphia is an obsession with one's physique being too tiny or not muscular enough. It affects nearly exclusively men.

Body dysmorphic disorder is viewed in a variety of ways. You may understand that your ideas about your perceived shortcomings are exaggerated or untrue, or you may believe that they are probably accurate, or you may be certain that they are definitely true. The more certain you are in your views, the more hardship and disturbance you may encounter in your life.

Causes of body dysmorphia

The causes of body dysmorphic disorder are unclear. Body dysmorphic disorder, like many other mental health illnesses, can be caused by a mix of factors, including a family history of the disorder, unfavourable judgments or experiences about your body or self-image, and abnormal brain function or serotonin levels.

Who is vulnerable to developing body disorder?

Body dysmorphic disorder affects both boys and girls and often begins in early adolescence.

The following factors appear to raise the chance of developing or triggering body dysmorphic disorder:

  • Having body dysmorphic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder in your family
  • Negative life experiences such as childhood taunting, neglect, or abuse
  • Personality traits such as perfectionism
  • Social pressure or beauty standards
  • Having a mental condition such as anxiety or depression


Body dysmorphic disorder can cause or be linked to a variety of complications, such as:

  • Low self-confidence
  • Isolation from others
  • Other mood disorders, such as major depression
  • Suicidal ideas or actions
  • Anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety disorder, are common
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Substance abuse
  • Skin picking, for example, can cause health problems.
  • Physical discomfort or the danger of disfigurement as a result of recurrent surgical procedures

When to seek treatment

Body dysmorphic disorder can be difficult to treat because of shame and humiliation over your looks. However, if you see any indications or symptoms, it is important you get professional treatment as soon as possible.

Body dysmorphic disorder does not normally improve on its own. If left untreated, it can lead to anxiety , severe depression, and even suicidal thoughts.