You cannot self-diagnose body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).
When your physician has evaluated you completely and found that there is no medical cause of your mental signs and symptoms, they will refer to the mental health professional.
No specific laboratory tests or imaging tests can diagnose BDD. You may get a questionnaire to fill in.
Diagnosis of BDD is made after:
- Recognizing that you have negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors about your physical features.
- Taking your personal, social, and family history.
- Matching your signs and symptoms with the ones that are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5, published by the American Psychiatric Association.
What is body dysmorphic disorder?
Body dysmorphic disorder is a serious mental health condition that affects about 1 out of every 50 people. In this, your mind is always preoccupied with a negative outlook toward your body features. It is estimated that nearly 5 to 10 million Americans suffer from this disorder. Figures may be more than these in reality. This is because people with body dysmorphic disorder feel awkward to consult their doctor regarding their negative thoughts and feelings; hence, the condition goes undiagnosed in many people. If not diagnosed and sought treatment early, it may lead to severe disruptions in the affected person’s daily life.
What are the signs and symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder?
If you suspect yourself of having dysmorphia, visit your doctor to get a correct diagnosis. Here are the signs and symptoms that you may feel if you suffer from body dysmorphia.
- You will constantly check yourself in the mirror.
- You will constantly feel that you are ugly.
- You will always use makeup to hide the flaws you think you have.
- You will try to hide your face or other body parts under a hat or scarf.
- You will constantly compare yourself with others.
- You will frequently seek reassurance from the people about your looks.
- You will always take opinions from many healthcare providers about your appearance.
- You will be on the constant lookout for cosmetic procedures.
- You will often pick at your skin.
- You will feel ashamed of your appearance.
- You will avoid social gatherings.
What puts you at risk for body dysmorphic disorder?
What causes body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is not well understood. It typically begins in the early teenage years.
Things that increase your chances of getting affected with BDD include:
- Having family members with BDD or obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Bad experiences of teasing or abuse as a child
- Societal pressure of looking beautiful
- Suffering from anxiety or depression
- Being a perfectionist
How is body dysmorphia treated?
Treatment for body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) includes:
- Medications: Certain medicines used to treat depression are used in the treatment of BDD. The most commonly used drug class includes selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This therapy is used in treating a wide range of psychiatric illnesses. The therapist helps you change your false beliefs and automatic negative thoughts about how you look. They teach you how to avoid irresistible urges of unnecessarily looking into the mirror several times a day, asking people about your appearance, etc.