Normal Insecurities Vs. Body Dysmorphia: How Can You Tell?

Dr. Sacha Obaid, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Serving Dallas, Plano, Southlake, and Nearby Fort Worth, Texas

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Source: Selah House

Both men and women deal with a lot of pressure from society to look better. Companies in the beauty and cosmetics industry create huge marketing campaigns that often feature models with the "ideal" look, creating unrealistic beauty standards for consumers all over.

There seems to be a product for every part of the body you may want to "improve"; like a drink that can help you burn the fat around your waste, a lotion for softer, fairer skin, or a foundation that can cover up your freckles. No matter what the product is, society has time and again zeroed in on a person's insecurities, trying to underscore how there's so much that has to be done in order to look more attractive or more desired.

Although each person deals with a different set of insecurities, these imperfections don't actually interfere with how they go about their daily lives. So how can you tell when your insecurities are becoming too bothersome and are no longer just insecurities?

 

What Are The Signs of Body Dysmorphia?

Obsessing over appearance for hours on end can be a sign that one has body dysmorphic disorder or BDD. This body image disorder causes a person to suffer from emotional distress over their physical appearance. BDD can affect how they live their daily lives, negatively impacting their social relationships and performance at work or school.

These "imperfections" that BDD-diagnosed people see in the themselves can either be real or perceived, as other people like friends and family might not even notice the physical trait they’re obsessing over. To someone with BDD, their physical faults are significant and overbearing, making it difficult for them to focus on other aspects of their life. Other tell-tale signs to watch out for are:

  • Often, BDD is seen in adolescents and teenage boys and girls.
  • BDD-diagnosed people may have repetitive and compulsive behavior including hiding parts of their body with clothing, makeup, or hair, and checking themselves in the mirror very often.
  • BDD-diagnosed people have a tendency to compare their appearance to that of other people's and excessively grooming or dressing themselves.

 

How Do You Deal With It?

If you or anyone you know would like to seek appropriate treatment and diagnosis, be sure to get in touch with a certified mental health professional.

Some treatments offered to people with BDD include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which helps patients control irrational thoughts and fight against negative thinking patterns. Antidepressant medications may also be prescribed to address the repetitive and compulsive behaviors brought by BDD.

With all these in mind, BDD is far worse and brings far graver consequences than insecurities. Although the two are significantly different, both can be addressed by seeking help from trusted friends and family who can provide proper care and comfort.

 

 

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