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Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a sort of anxiety disorder that is relatively common among adolescents and young adults. It harms a person's body image. People with this disease may have a wrong and unrealistic perception of their appearance. They might tend to fixate on features of their face or bodies that they find unattractive or ugly. As a result, they may spend a lot of time worrying about their appearance. These emotions might overwhelm the person's mind, affecting their personal and work activities.
Thus, body dysmorphic disorder can be a severe mental health problem. Sufferers aren't vain or self-absorbed. So, if you find yourself continuously comparing your appearance to others, spending a lot of time trying to hide what you believe is a flaw, or being troubled by a particular portion of your body, you may have this condition.
Patients with a body dysmorphic disorder might look for costly surgical treatment options, like dermatological and dental, to fix their perceived appearance flaws. These can often worsen their signs. And in doing so, they may also fail to realize that it is primarily a mental health condition that can be addressed most effectively by a body dysmorphia psychologist. Since it is a severe mental disorder, a skilled and experienced therapist's approach can help treat this disease.
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Ms Sonia Batra

Counselling Psychologist
15 years of experience
Ms. Sonia is a highly skilled and experienced mental health professional with a broad range of expertise in various areas of mental health and therapy. Her ability to work with individuals of all ages and her experience in working with schools to help children, parents, and teachers is a testament to her dedication to improving the mental health of her clients and the wider community. Her use of an eclectic model of therapy, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and client-centered approaches, allows her to tailor her approach to each client's unique needs and challenges. She has worked on a Psychosocial project implemented by UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) to work on the social and emotional well-being of the refugees settled in India. Her experience working with schools enables her to deal with adolescent concerns, anxiety issues, parenting, and social-emotional concerns of children and adults. She has successfully handled more than 2000+ individuals and has dealt with concerns like Anxiety, Depressive episodes, Emotional Trauma, Sexual issues, Relationship issues, Marital conflicts, Low self-esteem/ self-confidence, and poor body image. Ms. Sonia holds a Master’s degree in psychology and a certificate course in Guidance and counseling. She is also a recipient of a level 1 certificate in hypnotherapy from California Hypnosis Institute, along with hands-on experience in dealing with patients through extensive training at VIMHANS HOSPITAL, New Delhi.
Today, 30 Nov, 03:00 pm IST
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Mr Tushar V B

Counselling Psychologist
20 years of experience
A dynamic, result-oriented Empathetic, and Compassionate Psychologist/Counsellor with nearly 20 years of experience in one on one Counselling Online and Offline and Teaching (Meditation & Spirituality) A psychologist by profession (Masters in Psychology), Graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical; Worked in India and Abroad. My passion is Personal counselling and Spirituality. Visited a few countries across the world, including USA, and Canada and was involved in Personal counselling sessions and Healing. Counselling should be accessible to whoever needs it. Counselling is meant to prevent and alleviate human suffering. It promotes peace within and amongst all people. I believe that humans are born with a good heart and moral power. Every individual is teachable, improvable, and changeable. Expert, deep understanding and vast experience in Relationship Counselling. Effectively handled critical cases related to depression and suicide. Actively involved in assisting the people for achieving mental, physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, career-oriented and sport-based goals Demonstrated experience in providing personal attention based on specific needs and incorporating Meditation & Spirituality into everyday life Sound knowledge of Personal Therapy, Counselling to Trauma & Marriage, Sexual Abuse Victims and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder An effective communicator with exemplary patience and analytical skills Imparting the knowledge on mental health safely and harmoniously so that students can achieve optimal results Guiding students in Meditation through a variety of techniques and breathing exercises referred to as Pranayama Qualified and Certified Yoga Instructor from Indian Yoga Institute Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation ((VYASA), Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Qualified and Certified REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy) from Self Align Mumbai, An Affiliated Training Centre of Albert Ellis Institute (USA). Attended several workshops in NIMHANS Bangalore. Associated with Brilliant’s Academy Pune as Counsellor/Social Worker/Meditation/Spirituality. Associated with Samadhana Counselling Centre Bangalore. Associated with Vivekananda Kendra and took part in community development work.
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FAQs

Mental Health Care for Body Dysmorphic Disorder

This condition can cause anxiety and make you feel compelled to follow specific rituals or routines (compulsions). If you have this disorder, your obsession with the flaw might develop into ritualistic habits like continuously staring in the mirror or plucking at your skin. As a result of your obsession with a particular imperfection, your social, professional, and home functions may suffer.
If not treated, this condition can worsen as you age. Physical changes associated with aging, such as wrinkles and gray hair, could make you even more unhappy. In certain people, BDD can even lead to suicidal thoughts.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you prioritize your mental health. Talk to your health care provider or mental health professional. Discuss with them how to improve your coping abilities. Seek counseling for ways to focus on detecting, monitoring, and altering negative thoughts and behaviors about your looks.

Major Causes

The exact cause for this condition is unknown. However, according to one theory, it might be caused by a problem with the size or function of specific brain areas that process information regarding body image. This illness can frequently occur in people with other mental health problems, such as significant depression and anxiety, proving that this disorder has a biological basis.
Other factors that may influence or cause the development of this condition include:
  • Having been exposed to traumatic experiences or emotional strife as a child
  • Low self-esteem
  • Having been subjected to abuse and bullying
  • Parents and others who were critical of the person's appearance
  • Fear of being alone or isolated if you do not look a certain way Peer pressure and a society that equates physical appearance with beauty and worth can also influence its development

Common Warning Signs

The most common symptom concerns a perceived defect in appearance or an extreme reaction to a minor physical flaw. The symptoms could be long-lasting and fluctuate in intensity. Your attention may also change from one portion of your body to another.
You may also have false views of yourself. This can lead to avoiding others, engaging in harmful behaviors, or visiting surgeons regularly to address flaws only you believe you have. Some other common warning signs include:
  • Engaging in time-consuming and repetitive behaviors such as looking in the mirror, picking at the skin, and attempting to hide or cover up the flaw.
  • Avoiding mirrors altogether or having removed them from the house
  • Continually seeking assurance that the flaw isn't visible.
  • Having troubles at work, school, or in relationships because you can't seem to get your mind off the defect.
  • Feeling self-conscious and unable to go out in public or experiencing anxiety when in the presence of others.
  • Visiting medical specialists, such as plastic surgeons or dermatologists, regularly to discuss strategies to improve your appearance.
  • Excessive investigation or reading about the defect
  • Using wigs, clothing, or makeup to conceal the imperfection.
  • Spending several hours a day analyzing the fault and finding it challenging to think about anything else.
  • Seeking approval from others and feeling frustrated when they fail to see the flaw.

What are the Risk Factors?

Certain factors may trigger body dysmorphic disorder. A combination of environmental, biological, and psychological elements may act as risk factors. When combined with specific incidents from your life, these risk factors may create feelings of inadequacy, fear, ridicule, and shame in you, thereby leading to this condition. These include:
  • Genetic Condition: According to a study, certain genetic factors may be involved. Some people suffering from this illness might have a close relative who has had this condition at some point.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: OCD sufferers and family members of OCD sufferers may be frequently affected by this condition.
  • Past Experiences: Those who had previously suffered body-shaming or bullying might be more likely to acquire BDD.
  • Brain Composition: Research has found that those affected might have altogether different brain compositions. It was found that those diagnosed with this condition have a low level of serotonin. Serotonin helps alleviate the symptoms and decrease suicidal thoughts in individuals with BDD.
  • Fear Of Alienation: If you worry about not fitting in with your friends or feel lonely, you could form mental patterns that can result in this condition. For example, if you think you need to look a specific way to keep your friends or find a relationship, you could develop anxieties about your appearance.
  • Need To Be Perfect: You may be more prone to developing this illness if you consistently compare your looks to that of others or want to appear physically "perfect."

How to Recover From Your Symptoms

If you can identify with any of the symptoms and have decided to get help, you have taken a big step in the right direction. If you ask for help, you could feel ashamed of your obsession because you may be worried people will think of you as self-centered. However, like other disorders rooted in anxiety, support is also offered for this illness. Here is how you can effectively recover from your symptoms:
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This is the only psychological therapy for this disorder that has been proven effective. It aims to alter the mental and behavior patterns that the illness causes. You can recognize situations that make you anxious and create good coping strategies with the aid of your therapist. You can learn to see your body more objectively and with a forgiving lens with CBT.
  • Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: This is a class of antidepressants that have been proven in studies to help relieve the obsessive thoughts and behaviors that are a hallmark of this disorder. They might also lessen frequent co-occurring symptoms of anxiety and depression common in BDD.
  • Self Help: Apart from therapy and medications, you must also help yourself. Practice compassion, meditate, focus on your tasks, start journaling, and avoid pessimistic predictions about yourself. These activities can help make you more aware of your positives.
  • Seek Social Support: Remember to keep the lines of communication open. Make sure you don't cut yourself off from other people. If you feel more comfortable confiding in people with similar problems, you can join various support groups focused on body dysmorphic disorder. You can talk openly about your struggles in these groups' safe environment.

Find Help From a Licensed Therapist Who's Right For You

Body dysmorphia is a complicated condition. Talking about it might be difficult, as you may feel ashamed, vain, or self-absorbed. However, voicing out your feelings is the first step on the road to recovery. For this, you need a therapist who is not only licensed and experienced but someone you can trust.
Building up trust takes time, but you can start your search with DocVita! At DocVita, we have various compassionate specialists who are good listeners, caring, kind, and helpful. Start your journey with us today!

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