Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is an anxiety disorder that causes a person to have a distorted view of how they look.
This condition can cause a person to spend a great deal of time worrying about how they look. It can often occur alongside conditions such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and eating disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia. It is common also in people with a social phobia or social anxiety disorder and Depression. It may be that you feel you have none of these and that there is simply a form of anxiety connected to the way you feel about your body and that you cannot let go of seeing that part of you in a negative way.
Some people suffering from BDD will usually focus on some area of their appearance, possibly quite minor and unnoticed by others such as a mole, their skin, the shape of their nose or their weight- whether that is feeling too fat in most cases this is quite a female issue or too skinny- this can be quite a masculine issue. They may obsess about this ‘negative’ aspect of themselves and see it as a major flaw, often believing everyone notices and is staring at them.
Having BDD does not mean a person is vain or self-obsessed.
We may all suffer from bouts of low self-confidence or low self-esteem at different times in our lives. However for someone with BDD these thoughts can become obsessive and do not go away or lessen with time. Despite re-assurance from others, friends and family perhaps, they are immune to positive input and see themselves and ugly or defective in some way. They also believe others see them in this way too.
It is estimated that as many as 1 in every 100 people in the UK may have BDD.
Body dysmorphic disorder can affect people of all ages but usually starts during teenage years or as a young adult. This is a time when we tend to be more self-conscious and concerned about our appearance.
Body dysmorphia can seriously affect daily life, and will often affect work and career, social life and relationships.
A person with body dysmorphia or BDD may:
spend a lot of time in front of a mirror, or
avoid mirrors altogether
become distressed by a particular area of the body, most often the face
spend time and effort concealing what they see as a defect
feel anxious around other people
avoid social situations and events
diet or exercise excessively
become secretive and reluctant to seek help because their are afraid they will be seen as vain or self-obsessed
seek medical help such as plastic surgery for the perceived defect
There are similarities between BDD and OCD.
Although they are not the same there are similarities between obsessive compulsive disorder and body dysmorphic disorder: The person may feel compelled to repeat certain actions such as applying make-up or skin picking or squeezing spots. They may feel the need to obsessively fix their hair.
In some cases BDD may even lead to depression, self-harm or thoughts of suicide.
Constantly worrying about a small spot may appear funny to some people but it is no joke!
If you feel you are too obsessed with aspects of how you look, or if you have concerns about some aspects of appearance, such as your weight for example, particularly if these things are weighing on your mind and affecting your daily life then now may be the time to act.
Call Tracey now for a confidential and sympathetic appraisal of your situation: 07976 629098
Hypnosis can be effective and help with many anxiety disorders and the symptoms of BDD, such as social phobia and depression.