Body dysmorphic disorder, also known as BDD, imagined ugliness, or dysmorphophobia, is a psychological disorder where a person is overly obsessed about a flaw on their body that is minor or imagined. A person dealing with body dysmorphic disorder can’t get the perceived flaw on their body out of their mind no matter how hard they try. The imagined ugliness may be a single part of their body or several parts of their body. Dealing with body dysmorphic disorder is not easy because a person may worry hours upon hours about their imagined ugliness, what others might think about them, and if they will be accepted by their family and friends. Dealing with body dysmorphic disorder can cause turmoil in their social life, family life, and even their job because of the obsessive worrying about the flaw on their body or body parts. This may also lead to depression, stress, anxiety, and a fear of social activities. If you or someone you know has body dysmorphic disorder, there are many ways in dealing with the disorder that can help, including knowledge of the disorder, following a treatment plan, taking medications as directed, exercising, staying social, keeping a journal, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and online help and support groups.
The first step in dealing with body dysmorphic disorder is gaining knowledge of the disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, about 1 percent of the population is estimated to have body dysmorphic disorder, but as many as 10 percent of people who are seeking cosmetic treatments may have body dysmorphic disorder. It’s not known specifically what causes body dysmorphic disorder, but researchers believe that there may be a combination of causes, including biochemical, genes, your environment, and life experiences. You may want to visit your local library to read books about dealing with body dysmorphic disorder, BDD, or imagined ugliness. The Free Library by Farlex is another great free resource online where you can read and learn about body dysmorphic disorder online.
Taking your medications as directed is another important factor when dealing with body dysmorphic disorder. Since researchers believe that biochemical may be a factor in body dysmorphic disorder, it is important to be receiving the proper daily medication to keep your serotonin levels maintained. You don’t want to miss a few days and start taking the medication again because it won’t keep you level. You may want to invest in a pill organizer to help remind you daily to take your medication. These are very inexpensive and can be found at any pharmacy or local grocery store.
Exercising another important factor when dealing with body dysmorphic disorder. Exercising can reduce the stress and anxiety that may be felt when having body dysmorphic disorder and will also help your self-esteem by making your feel better. Yoga and meditation are wonderful options for people suffering from body dysmorphic disorder.
Staying social is very difficult for people dealing with body dysmorphic disorder, but is very important. As difficult as it is, try to get out weekly in a social environment with family or friends. Other people do not perceive what you perceive and it may take a while, but the more you adventure out, the more it may help to decrease your uncomfortable feelings about your imagined ugliness. If you continue to stay inside and hide, it will be harder to adventure outside.
Keeping a journal can help when dealing with body dysmorphic disorder to help you release your feelings on paper instead of holding them inside. Keeping a journal can also help you discover triggers that may bring on your anxiety about your body dysmorphic disorder to help you understand them better.
Drugs and alcohol should be avoided when dealing with body dysmorphic disorder. Drugs and alcolhol can not only interfere with the medication your are taking, but can also make your even more depressed about your body dysmorphic disorder.
Online help and support groups are another place where a person dealing with body dysmorphic disorder can turn to. Some groups that are available online are Live Journal for BDD support, Experience Project, and Anxiety Tribe. You can purchase a BDD workbook on Amazon.com to help your overcome body dysmorphic obsessions on Amazon.com.
No matter what, dealing with body dysmorphic disorder is not easy, but it’s important to get as much support as you can with dealing with your imagined ugliness.
*The information contained in this article is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor is it intended to be for medical diagnosis or treatments. Always consult your doctor before taking any medical advice or if you are concerned about your physical well being.