Body dysmorphic disorder
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) or the “distress of imagined ugliness”.
You become convinced that part of your face or body is the wrong shape, and spend hours in front of a mirror checking and trying to cover it up. You may even stop going out in public (116).
The cause of BDD is unclear, but it may be genetic or caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, stress, or defence mechanism. It usually starts in adolescence when people are most sensitive about their appearance (35).
What are the symptoms?
People with BDD are excessively worried about a part of their body which they perceive to have a defect. They continue to believe this despite reassurances about their appearance.
Any area of the body may be involved in BDD, but the face is the most common.
A person with BDD may:
* Wear excessive make-up or heavy clothing to hide their perceived defect
* Repeatedly look in the mirror and seek reassurance about their appearance
* Frequently touch or measure the perceived defect
* Repeatedly pick at their skin or pluck their hair and eyebrows
* Feel anxious when around other people
* Seek medical treatment for the perceived defect
* Diet and exercise excessively
People with BDD may not be able to hold down a job and sometimes avoid socialising.
They can also find it difficult to have relationships (35).
What's the treatment?
Treatment may include antidepressant medication, cognitive behavioural therapy or a combination of both (35).
Psychological treatment includes sympathetic support and Stress management - stress reduction strategies such as solving problems coping strategy, reducing emotional reaction and maladaptive coping strategy.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is recommended. If you require help and advice Counselling and Psychotherapy may be provided via Skype and FaceTime in the comfort of your home, office or any place of your choice.