What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Self-image is one of the ways in which one will often times look at them from a different type of reality. Your perceived image often causes a reaction from an individual.

If this is brought to an extreme, it causes body dysmorphic disorder. This causes one to believe that they must continue to work on their self-image until it is perfected.

As a result, plastic surgery and other forms of trying to reconstruct one become a dominant factor in one trying to find the perfect look. Self-image begins as a way for one to express their personality. If someone has a negative impression of their image, then they will try to find ways to perfect it or make it better.

They may often feel that the looks that they have are abnormal or not good enough. This feeling becomes so dominant that it will cause them to begin looking at options for them to fix this problem.

Paying the Price for Perceived Perfection

Body dysmorphic disorder is complete obsession over ones self image. This may be a minor flaw, however, according to the person that is experiencing this disorder, it is a larger issue. It causes feelings of anxiety to become dominant in their life.

This can become so drastic that those with body dysmorphic disorder will begin to affect academic and professional functioning. It may also cause relationships to become a problem. Those with this disorder may become so self-conscious of their flaw that they will avoid contact with others in order to not be observed by them.

Most Common Obsessions

There are several different types of parts that are most common in being obsessed over with body dysmorphic disorder.

Moles and freckles may be too large. Acne is often times overbearing. Scars or skin irritations, facial or body hair, and other external body image factors are part of this.

Muscles being too small are another obsession that many will try to fix either through excessive working out or through different types of surgery.

Others will become obsessed with the size and shape of genitalia or breast size. The face and shape of the face and body parts is another obsession towards perfection that those with this disorder will begin to recognize and try to fix.

Going to Extremes

Body dysmorphic disorder then begins to take part in this persons life. At the most extreme level, those with body dysmorphic disorder will continuously get cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery. Even this will cause the person to not be satisfied with their image.

It is known that those who have this personality disorder will not be satisfied with the results of the surgery and will request more surgery to be done in order to fix their self-image. If they do not go to the extreme of getting surgery, they may often go to get medical check-ups on a consistent basis, especially by visiting dermatologists.

For smaller ways for this person to fix the problem of their self-image, they will also take several different measures. They will either avoid mirrors completely or they will check in mirrors continuously to make sure that they don’t have any extra flaws on their face.

Some will also avoid having their picture taken. Another action that may be taken is repetition in checking to make sure that they look ok, and continuous grooming and shaving.

Camoflauging what one believes the defects are is another part of this disorder. Wearing clothes to cover up what they believe the flaws are and wearing make-up in order to cover up different areas of their face are done consistently.

Related Disorders

It is also known that this disorder may be representative of other types of disorders as well. Narcissism, antisocial personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and paranoia were some of the personality disorders that have been associated with self-image and body dysmorphic disorder.

Body dysmorphic disorder is an obsession with self-image that one begins by having a low sense of self. As a result, those with this disorder will try to find ways to either cover up what they believe their flaws are either through how they present themselves or through surgery.

By their desire to have perfection in their self-image, they will usually take whatever measures they find necessary in order to fix their appearance.

Image: Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Detail from Lady Lilith, 1867