Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Top Five Symptoms

Wednesday, 20 Oct 2010 11:50 AM

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Most of us are conscious about our looks and social image. But when a person becomes constantly preoccupied and obsessed about his or her physical attributes, especially the physical flaws of their skin, face, hair, or nose, they might indeed be suffering from a specific behavior disorder known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or BDD. This dysmorphic syndrome is a serious compulsive behaviour disorder running the gamut from mild, moderate, to even life threatening manifestations. Since the severity of dysmorphophobia symptoms tend to escalate with time, it is imperative that the signs of body dysmorphia are not ignored and a quick diagnosis and treatment plan is created.

Identifying dysmorphophobia symptoms will not only help the patient seek treatment, but also prevent associated consequences like social isolation, uncontrolled anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. The top five signs and symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder are discussed here:

1.
One of the most common BDD symptoms is the tendency to keep looking at one’s own appearance in the mirror and constantly comparing oneself with others. Such a person is overconscious about his or her physical flaws, which actually might be illusionary.

2.
Dysmorphophobia symptoms also include some people’s inclination toward excessive grooming. This is typically a compulsive behaviour adopted by BDD sufferers to mask or camouflage their minor imperfections. Using heavy makeup, wearing big hats, and baggy clothes are all attempts to hide their perceived flaws.

3.
Yet another observed somatoform disorder sign in BDD patients is getting anxious and feeling uncomfortable in social settings. They are so distraught about their appearance that they may refuse to go in public, or for that matter, even be photographed.

4.
BDD symptoms also include people choosing to go under the knife (cosmetic surgery) quite frequently to modify the shape of their nose, facial figure, thinning hair, or the color of their skin. Going through these cosmetic surgeries can in fact make body dysmorphic disorder even worse, as these people are never happy with the outcome. The chances of them getting overly angry with the surgeon or becoming obsessed with some newfound defect are quite high.

5. BDD
may be exhibited by people who are always looking for reassurance about their appearance from their loved ones. Excessive diet, food control, or exercising may be resorted to, to overcome perceived defects.
 
Body dysmorphic disorder treatment needs to be conducted by a qualified behavior therapist who can try to alter the BDD patients’ self image, instill self-confidence, and train them to get back to their social interactions without hiding or feeling ashamed about their appearance.

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