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      Kanyinsola ArojojoyeKanyinsola Arojojoye

      DEFINITION

      Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a type of chronic Mental illness in which an individual  can’t stop thinking about a flaw in their appearance — a flaw that is either minor or imagined. Appearance may seems so shameful, that one don’t want to be seen by others.

      Body Dysmorphic Disorder is also known as dysmorphophobia, the fear of having a deformity.

      Symptom includes:

      • Preoccupation with physical appearance with extreme self-consciousness
      • Frequent examination of self in the mirror, or the opposite, avoidance of mirrors altogether
      • Strong belief of having an abnormality or defect in appearance that makes ugly.
      • Believing others take special notice of appearance in a negative way.
      • Avoidance of social situations
      • Feeling the need to stay housebound.
      • The need to seek reassurance about appearance from others.
      • Frequent cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction.
      • Excessive grooming, such as hair plucking or skin picking, or excessive exercise in an unsuccessful effort to improve the flaw.
      • The need to grow a beard or wear excessive makeup or clothing to camouflage perceived flaws.
      • Comparison of self appearance with that of others.
      • Reluctance to appear in pictures.

      Common features people may obsess about include:

      • Face, such as nose, complexion, Wrinkles, Acne and other blemishes.
      • Hair, such as appearance, thinning and baldness.
      • Skin and vein appearance.
      • Breast size
      • Muscle size and tone
      • Genitalia

      Cause is idiopathic i.e unknown but there are risk factors:

      1. Having biological relatives with Body Dysmorphic Disorder
      2. Negative life experiences, such as childhood teasing
      3. Personality traits, including low self-esteem
      4. Societal pressure or expectations of beauty
      5. Having another psychiatric disorder, such as anxiety or Depression.

      Treatment: the two main treatments for BDD are cognitive behavioral therapy and medications. Often, treatment involves a combination of these.

      Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on:

      ■ Helping to learn about condition and feelings, thoughts, moods and behavior.
      ■ Using the insights and knowledge gained in psychotherapy to stop automatic negative thoughts and to see self in a more realistic and positive way.
      ■ Learning healthy ways to handle urges or rituals, such as mirror checking or skin picking.
      ■ Teaching other healthy behaviors, such as how to socialize with others.

      Medications: Although there are no medications specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Body Dysmorphic Disorder, psychiatric medications used to treat other conditions, such as Depression, can be effective such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

      Tips to help cope with Body Dysmorphic Disorder:

      1. Write in a journal. This can help express pain, anger, fear or other emotions.
      2. Don’t become isolated. Try to participate in normal activities and get together with family or friends regularly.
      3. Take care of self. Eat healthy, stay physically active and get sufficient sleep.
      4. Read reputable self-help books.
      5. Join a support group. Connect with others facing similar challenges.
        Stay focused on goals. Recovery is an ongoing process. Stay motivated by keeping recovery goals in mind.
      6. Learn relaxation and stress management. Try such stress-reduction techniques as meditation and yoga.
      7. Do not make important decisions when feeling despair or distress. One may not be thinking clearly and may regret decisions later.

      <p style=”text-align: left;”>Complication includes:</p>

      • Unnecessary medical procedures, especially cosmetic surgery
      • Social phobia and social isolation
      • Lack of close relationships
      • Difficulty attending work or school
      • Low self-esteem
      • Repeated hospitalizations
      • Depression or other Mood disorders
      • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
      • Anxiety disorders
      • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
      • Eating disorders
      • Substance abuse

       

       

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