Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Symptoms and Consequences
One rarely meets a person who is quite satisfied with their appearance. There is always something in the human body that can be improved. Although, in some cases, dislike for your own body or some part of it reaches the scale of a mental disorder, this problem is called dysmorphophobia. A person needs timely treatment for this disease because the consequences can be fatal.
Symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder can be gradual or abrupt, change in intensity, and if not treated properly, persist for long periods. Without medical treatment, a person will not rationally evaluate themselves. For example, individuals may be concerned about seemingly thinning hair, acne, wrinkles, scars, complexion, or excessive facial or body hair. Otherwise, people may focus on the shape or size of a particular body part, such as the nose, eyes, ears, mouth, breasts, legs, or buttocks (Veale et al. 168). They may describe body parts that they do not like as ugly, unattractive, disfigured, disgusting, or horrible.
Consequences of Dysmorphia
Most people with body dysmorphic disorder have difficulty controlling their concerns and spend hours every day worrying about their perceived handicap. They may think that other people are constantly looking at them or making fun of them because of their appearance (Vashi 788). People are self-conscious about their appearance; they may avoid appearing in public, including not going to work, school, or social events. Some characters with severe symptoms only leave the house at night, while others do not go out at all (Himanshu et al. 567). Thus, this disorder often leads to depression and social isolation. The distress and dysfunction caused by this sickness do not go away on their own and can lead to panic, repeated hospitalizations, suicidal behavior, and even death.
The main characteristics of body dysmorphic disease are obsessive compulsions, and an exaggerated concern about the perception of minor defects in one’s appearance. It is a profound psychiatric disorder that can significantly impair professional activities, learning, and interpersonal relationships. Therefore, timely diagnosis of the problem and effective treatment can protect the person. As a result, medical intervention can help restore love for oneself and one’s own body.
Himanshu, Avneet Kaur, et al. ‘Rising Dysmorphia Among Adolescents: A Cause for Concern.’ Journal of family medicine and primary care, vol. 9, no. 2, 2020, p. 567.
Vashi, Neelam. ‘Obsession with Perfection: Body Dysmorphia.’ Clinics in dermatology, vol. 34, no. 6, 2016, pp. 788-791.
Veale, David, et al. ‘Body Dysmorphic Disorder in Different Settings: A Systematic Review and Estimated Weighted Prevalence.’ Body Image, vol. 18, no.1, 2016, pp. 168-186.