Body dysmorphic disorder.
Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and dread what you see? Do you get disgusted by your looks? The hip dent you have? That flat buttocks? The full lips? The small muscular size? Sometimes the flaw you so dread that is not seen by others?
It is normal to wish for something better or fantasize about something nicer but when you become obsessed about your perceived flaw in appearance and overly focused on it, it can be said that you are experiencing a mental illness/disorder known as Body dysmorphic disorder.
Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health disorder in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance — a flaw that appears minor or can’t be seen by others. But you may feel so embarrassed, ashamed and anxious that you may avoid many social situations.- Mayo Clinic.
You are constantly in search of ways to ”fix” it. Some people exercise while others undergo cosmetic procedures for fixing it.
Causes Of Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
There are many factors that may lead to a person experiencing this but these are the most common ones;
• abuse or bullying.
• low self-esteem.
• fear of being alone or isolated.
• perfectionism or competing with others.
• depression, anxiety, or OCD.
Common risk factors are child abuse, teasing, and bullying. I am especially stressing on this because I want you to think twice before passing an unsolicited negative comment about a person’s appearance. That may be you killing the person’s self-esteem and destroying self-perception. If you truly need to comment, make it as harmless as you possibly can. Strive to be kind always.
Signs and symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder include:
• Being extremely preoccupied with a perceived flaw in appearance that to others can’t be seen or appears minor
• A strong belief that you have a defect in your appearance that makes you ugly or deformed
• A belief that others take special notice of your appearance in a negative way or mock you
• Engaging in behaviors aimed at fixing or hiding the perceived flaw that is difficult to resist or control, such as frequently checking the mirror, grooming or skin picking
• Attempting to hide perceived flaws with styling, makeup or clothes
• Constantly comparing your appearance with others
• Frequently seeking reassurance about your appearance from others
• Having perfectionist tendencies
• Seeking cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction
• Avoiding social situations
Treatment options have been known to be behavioral therapy and medication.
However, as a person with a lived experience, (Read my story here.) I can assure you that the best treatment or remedy is you identifying and accepting your identity in Christ. Knowing that you are an image-bearer and that you were created intentionally and that nothing about you is a mistake.
I will encourage you to go for therapy and all that but I will be glad if you will give Jesus the chance to change your script of self. It did magic for me.
Be kind, mental health illness is real, your words can kill.
Have a good day.