Find help and support for body dysmorphic disorder at Asana Lodge.
If you’re currently suffering from body dysmorphic disorder, or believe a loved one is, we can help you through our rehab centre.
What is body dysmorphic disorder?
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) can be defined as a mental health disorder that involves a distorted perception of one’s physical appearance. This can impact the decisions, behaviours, actions and outlooks of individuals, making it much more than just a psychological illness which controls the way in which people see their bodies.
The most common areas evaluated by individuals on their body include their face, skin, weight and hair. People with this condition obsess over what they believe to be flaws or imperfections in their appearance, often to the point that these perceived imperfections consume a significant amount of their time and attention, and negatively affect their daily functioning.
These perceived flaws are usually non-existent, minor or not observable to others, but to the individual with BDD, they appear significant and find it highly distressing. For example, someone with BDD might obsess over a small scar, a slight asymmetry in their facial features, or the shape or size of their nose.
Living with Body Dysmorphia
Those who experience body dysmorphic will pick away at their body image. They will continue to uncontrollably, and sometimes even unknowingly check those areas which do not fit their world of perfectionism. This outlook will soon control their decisions and behaviours, commonly associated with alternative conditions, such as eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Although underlying triggers do vary for all individuals suffering from body dysmorphic disorder, developing damaging behaviours and patterns as a result of this condition is very likely. Categorised similarly to anxiety disorders and compulsive disorders, mental health will deteriorate significantly, along with other areas of life.
With this in mind, if you are experiencing any degree of body dysmorphia, it is important that you consider treatment and therapy. Without this step, ongoing damages will be experienced, commonly unknowingly to the individual, sometimes reaching the point of no return, resulting in either drastic cosmetic surgery, eating disorders or even suicide.
With this in mind, without body dysmorphic disorder treatment, this condition can become life-threatening, along with the potential to influence further mental health issues. Here at Asana Lodge, we specialise in mental health recovery and behavioural rehabilitation. We treat all clients as individuals, observing their brain functionality and underlying triggers. We work with people to change outlooks on body image while strengthening coping mechanisms through exposure and response prevention techniques, all completed through a tailored treatment plan.
Does Body Dysmorphia Affect Everyone?
BDD is a mental health disorder that can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity. This condition is characterised by an obsessive fixation with a specific part of the body, often focusing on perceived flaws or defects which are either minor or completely imagined.
Whilst BDD tends to develop in adolescence (a time when individuals are generally most sensitive about their appearance), it has the potential to manifest at any stage of life. Both males and females are susceptible to BDD, although the specific obsessions or concerns about body image may vary by gender.
BDD is also not confined to any specific ethnic or socioeconomic group. It can impact individuals from all backgrounds, illustrating that mental health disorders do not discriminate. It’s also worth noting that individuals with a family history of BDD or other mental health disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or depression may be at higher risk of developing BDD.
Signs and symptoms
When living with a body dysmorphic disorder, how you feel about your body image will consume your thoughts.
Mirror-checking will become the norm as you obsess over your perceived flaws. Searching for easy ways to change your body image will take place, helping to alleviate your negative thoughts, However, this behaviour is fuelling your mental health disorder, worsening long-term side effects.
Common signs and symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder include:
- Excessive and consistent mirror checking.
- Obsessively documenting your body (e.g. taking videos to view yourself from different angles).
- Repeatedly seeking external validation and reassurance from others.
- Believing that others are homing in on your flaws and judging you.
- Obsessing over a perceived flaw which others will see as minor or non-existent.
- Following an obsessive routine, whether that’s skin, hair or exercise.
- Developing further mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety.
- Avoiding any activity where your flaws may be exposed.
- Withdrawing from friends and family.
- Neglecting your obligations and responsibilities, such as work.
- Repeatedly comparing yourself to other individuals.
- Developing an eating disorder.
Although a large proportion of the above symptoms may seem extreme, without completing body dysmorphic disorder treatment, this could be your reality. Mild side effects can soon develop, as your brain activity continues to become abnormal. Greater pressures and influences will continue to fuel your outlook on your body image, along with increasing your susceptibility to additional occurring mental health conditions.
Some individuals will aim to overcome symptoms by opting for cosmetic surgery or drastically changing their appearance. This, however, will only offer short-term relief. With this in mind, avoid additional harm by considering treatment specifically designed for body dysmorphic disorder.
Body dysmorphic disorder and the brain
Individuals experiencing body dysmorphic disorder are also likely to develop co-occurring mental health conditions. This is where a dual diagnosis will be present and require specialised, targeted treatment. Individuals are likely to experience conditions such as anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), obsessive comparison disorder and eating disorders, all placing extra pressure on the brain’s functioning.
For this reason, it is very important that treatment is sourced for all standalone mental health conditions. Without this approach, disorders will fester, soon refuelling previous negative associations.
Body dysmorphic disorder treatment through Asana Lodge
Here at Asana Lodge, we deeply understand how body dysmorphic disorder can impact individuals differently. We also understand how causations can differ, along with the key area of the brain, fuelling associated mental health issues.
With this in mind, we cater each disorder treatment to our client’s needs. We achieve this by completing an initial evaluation of the brain through SPECT imaging. This, alongside the evaluation of biological, psychological, spiritual and social factors, will provide a clearer picture of the underlying trigger fuelling body dysmorphic disorder. It’s important to remember that factors such as genetics and the environment can motivate co-occurring mental health disorders.
From here, an effective treatment plan for body dysmorphic disorder will be provided, helping to ease side effects. Methods utilised for treating the disorder include cognitive behavioural therapy, therapy sessions, exposure and response prevention techniques, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, along with exercise and nutrition workshops.
As an understanding of underlying triggers will be made, suitable degrees of each treatment will be activated. For example, if someone is struggling with body dysmorphic in relation to their weight, exercise will not initially be included, as this can motivate, or even encourage further compulsive behaviours.
Without understanding brain functionality and responses, it will be difficult to pinpoint the exact trigger causing body dysmorphic. This approach will leave clients vulnerable, with the potential of developing further mental health conditions. With this in mind, we vouch for the value behind our treatment plans, prioritising personalisation.
Reach Out Today
If you are struggling with your body image to the point where it feels as though it’s controlling your life, it is important that you seek professional support.
Without taking this step, those negative feelings will continue to develop, uncontrollably. Control your outlook on your body image by committing to body dysmorphic disorder treatment, available through our rehab centre. Call us on 01908 489 421 or e-mail email@example.com, and we’ll get in touch with you to explore effective treatment options.