Do I Have Body Dysmorphia?
"Your body is your home, your vessel in life. It needs to be respected and loved." – Iskra Lawrence
Do you feel bad about your appearance? Do thoughts and worries about your body or your face take up a lot of your time and mental space? Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health condition that involves spending a lot of time worrying about or obsessing over "flaws" in your appearance. Those who experience such worries and negative thoughts are not just "self-obsessed" or "vain". Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health condition that often requires psychological treatment and support. Body dysmorphia can involve negative and unhelpful thoughts and feelings about your body and it can also involve negative and unhelpful thoughts and feelings about your face too. Whilst someone struggling with body dysmorphia may think that the "flaws" in their appearance are very significant and obvious, others will often not even be able to notice these "flaws".
You may be struggling with body dysmorphic disorder if you find that:
- You regularly compare your appearance to the appearance of other people.
- You either spend lots of time looking in mirrors and checking your appearance or you find it very hard to look in mirrors and try and avoid them as much as possible.
- You take a lot of time trying to conceal your "flaws" e.g. through wearing baggy clothes, wearing lots of make-up or sitting in a certain way to try and make certain parts of your body less noticeable.
- You try to change your appearance e.g. by picking at your skin to try to make it smooth, having plastic surgery or lots of treatments.
- You spend a lot of time worrying about certain areas of your body such as your stomach or your thighs or obsessing over certain facial features.
Many people struggling with body dysmorphic disorder don't seek help because they don't realise or believe that other people see them differently to how they see themselves. Because they think that their "flaws' are so noticeable or obvious, they assume that everyone else sees them so clearly too. This often means they don't realise that this is a psychological issue rather than an appearance issue. Ways to tell if you have body dysmorphic disorder can also include:
- Other people pay you compliments on your appearance but you don't believe that what they are saying is true.
- Efforts to try and change your body or appearance don't make you feel better about your appearance e.g. you have some plastic surgery for one area of your body but then you just end up obsessing over another thing that you don't like about your body or face.
- You avoid certain situations such as social gatherings or work events, because of worries about your appearance.
Body dysmorphic disorder can be successfully treated with psychological interventions. If you would like some support to rebuild your relationship with your body, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book in a free consultation.
"Feeling beautiful has nothing to do with what you look like". – Emma Watson