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How to get rid of Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

Imagined ugliness

This serious illness causes person affected to be preoccupied with their appearance, especially those body features that include breast or muscle size, nose, skin, hair, moles or freckles, or in some cases genitalia. This disease affects both men and women equally and it has various consequences. Such as, frequent cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction, feeling extremely self-conscious, avoiding social situations or hiding imaginary physical flaws and so on. There is no specific cause that is known to triggers the disease rather there are several possible ones, like biochemical, genetic, or environmental.

How it develops?

It is believed that having biological relatives with body dismorphic disorder, childhood teasing, low self-esteem, or social expectation of beauty are factors than can increase the risk of person developing the BDD. Also, about 10% of people going to dermatologist or having cosmetic treatments are predisposed are at risk to develop BDD. The person with BDD becomes obsessed with imaginary abnormality or defect so much that it starts looking at mirrors expensively or, conversely, avoiding them, picking the “affected” skin area, using too much make-up or clothing to cover up the “defect” and many other abnormal actions, or become addicted to cosmetic procedures. In extreme cases this disease can lead to suicidal thoughts or behavior, or even hospitalization, if affected person can’t take care of herself any more.

Lifetime treatment

The options that are combined for treating this difficult mental illness are psychotherapy and medications. Treatment is very complex and uneasy, especially for the person not willing to participate, which is very often in case of this disease. Psychotherapy includes cognitive behavioral therapy or behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy includes several steps aimed to help the person accept and overcome imaginary defect in various social situations and eventually starts living normal life. However, this type of therapy is not enough and person with BDD also needs to take antidepressants to increase serotonin level in brain and to decrease obsessive and compulsive behavior. Person with BDD must take these medications for the rest of his/her life because the risk of relapse is typically high once they stop taking them. 

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