The majority of us have experienced feeling self-conscious and body dissatisfied all too often. It is these feelings that can cause people to underestimate Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and the severity of this illness.
BDD is a type of mental illness relating to body image which is much more than feeling body insecure like many of us will admit we do. It is an obsession with a perceived “defect” in appearance. Whether it be imagined or only a slight flaw, the patient becomes preoccupied with the “defect”. This could be a facial feature, a particular body part, a symmetry worry or a proportion concern. However seemingly insignificant this “defect” is to the observer, this disorder consumes a persons mind.
One thing that separates your average bodily concern from those suffering with body dysmorphic disorder is the extent to which the supposed deformity affects their lives. Many BDD sufferers will spend several hours each day thinking about their “defect”. They will constantly check their defect in mirrors or conversely avoid mirrors completely. These and other compulsive behaviours usually develop as a way of dealing with the anxiety caused by the way they feel about their appearance. This obsession with the “defect” reaches the point where their daily routine is disrupted and functioning adequately in working, social or personal environments proves difficult.
Patients with BDD are convinced the only way to improve self esteem is to improve the way they look. At Recover, we work with sufferers of body dysmorphic disorders to help them to manage disordered thoughts and behaviours, gain a sense of self-empowerment and build self-esteem and body confidence.