What Does Body Dysmorphia Feel Like?
Body dysmorphia, also known as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), is a mental health condition characterized by a persistent preoccupation with perceived flaws or defects in one's appearance. These flaws are often imagined or exaggerated and cause significant distress, leading to impairment in daily functioning and quality of life. People with body dysmorphia are unable to see themselves objectively and may believe that their appearance is ugly, abnormal, or deformed, despite reassurance from others.
- Excessive mirror checking: Spending long periods looking at oneself in mirrors, often trying to find flaws or comparing specific body parts with perceived ideal standards.
- Avoidance behaviors: Avoiding mirrors altogether, or avoiding certain situations or social interactions due to anxiety about one's appearance.
- Compulsive grooming or skin picking: Engaging in repetitive behaviors, such as picking at the skin or hair, to try to fix or improve the perceived flaws.
- Seeking reassurance: Constantly seeking reassurance from others about one's appearance, but not fully believing or accepting their compliments.
- Excessive grooming or makeup application: Spending hours trying to perfect one's appearance through grooming, makeup, or other means.
- Comparing oneself to others: Constantly comparing one's appearance to others, often feeling inadequate or envious of perceived more attractive individuals.
- Frequent plastic surgery or cosmetic procedures: Seeking out multiple cosmetic procedures to correct perceived flaws, often with little satisfaction from the results.
- Emotional distress and impaired functioning: Feeling distressed, anxious, or depressed about one's appearance, which can interfere with work, social life, and relationships.
What Are The Different Forms of Body Dysmorphia?
- Muscle Dysmorphia: Individuals with muscle dysmorphia believe that their bodies are not muscular or big enough. They may engage in excessive exercise, monitor their diet rigidly, and wear clothing to appear bulkier. This subtype is sometimes referred to as "bigorexia" or "reverse anorexia" and may overlap with eating disorders.
- Body Dysmorphia by Proxy: In this subtype, individuals become overly focused on perceived flaws in other people's appearances, causing distress and affecting their daily functioning. They may engage in repetitive behaviors to alleviate anxiety or feelings of guilt.
Free Mental Health Assessment
Mental Health America recognizes the significance of accessible and prompt mental health support for individuals experiencing potential symptoms of mental health conditions. To aid in this effort, MHA offers free mental health screenings. Through awareness, support, and appropriate interventions, we can work together to build a more compassionate and mentally healthy world for everyone.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline988lifeline.org
The 988 Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.
Crisis Text Linecrisistextline.org
Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime. Crisis Text Line is here for any crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment.
Trevor Project Lifelinethetrevorproject.org
Text ‘START’ to 678-678
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