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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 Avani Vasani - psychologist

Clinical Psychologist

Fluent In English, Hindi, Gujarati
8 years of
"One should always remember that there is no harm or shame in giving up or asking for help. In fact, that’s where the real work begins. Greetings! I am a Licensed clinical psychologist with more than 7 years of experience in helping people manage different psychological, emotional and behavioural problems. I have done extensive training under trained professionals in different hospitals and mental
Fluent In: English, Hindi, Gujarati
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Ms Sakshi Arora - psychologist

Counselling Psychologist

Fluent In English, Hindi
12 years of
"GOLD MEDALIST, MPhil in Psychology, previously based out of Switzerland handling European and other multinational clients for 7 years, Ms Sakshi Arora is a therapist and a behavioural counsellor providing Psychological Assessment and Intervention in the field of Personality Testing, Intelligence Testing, Behavioral Problems Testing, IQ Testing, Career Counselling, Pre and Post Marital Counselling,
Fluent In: English, Hindi
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Ms Kanika - psychologist

Clinical Psychologist

Fluent In Hindi, English
9 years of
"Kanika (MSc clinical psych and MPhil clinical psych) is a licensed clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. She has been practicing privately for 9 years in both online and offline settings. Kanika has experience with families, couples, children, teens, young adults (individual age ranging from 16 to 48 year of age). She has helped clients suffering from depression, other mood disorders, anxie
Fluent In: Hindi, English
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Ms Sonia Batra - psychologist

Counselling Psychologist

Fluent In Hindi, English, Punjabi
15 years of
"A competent, empathetic, and trained mental health professional, Sonia helps improve her clients’ overall well-being by talking through their challenges, evolving realistic and achievable goals, and providing them with the tools and skills to improve their quality of life. Her clinical expertise lies in working with people having Adolescent issues, Anxiety, depression, Marital and Interpersonal co
Fluent In: Hindi, English, Punjabi
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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!

Schedule a Virtual Psychotherapy Appointment with a Counsellor Today

If you have been battling with your symptoms alone and not getting any better, it might be time to reach out to a trusted provider. From our comprehensive list of psychiatrists and therapists, you can choose the one that suits your specific needs.
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