Coping with body dysmorphia
If you’re self-conscious about your appearance, you might be wondering if you’re suffering from what’s called body dysmorphia. Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or body dysmorphia for short, is a mental health condition in which you can't stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance. What you may consider a flaw to your appearance may not even be perceived by others. But you may feel so embarrassed, ashamed and anxious that you may avoid many social situations. While feeling self-conscious about your appearance is a natural feeling that we all experience, body dysmorphia is a more elevated sense of self-consciousness that can sometimes require counseling or medication.
What are signs and symptoms of body dysmorphia?
Body dysmorphia shows itself in may forms, but there is a list of classic symptoms to be mindful for if you think you or a loved one is experiencing body dysmorphia:
Constantly checking yourself in the mirror
Another symptom may be avoiding mirrors entirely
Trying to hide your body under a hat, scarf, makeup, bulky clothes
Constantly exercising or grooming
Constantly comparing yourself with others
Always asking other people whether or not you look okay
Not believing other people when they say you look fine
Avoiding social activities
Not going out of the house, especially in the daytime
Seeing many healthcare providers about your appearance
Feeling anxious, depressed, and ashamed
It is important to consider that exhibiting a couple or a few of these symptoms don’t necessarily mean you are afflicted with body dysmorphia, but if you identify with several of these symptoms, seeking treatment is encouraged, and nothing to be ashamed of.
How to treat body dysmorphia
Treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder may include talk therapy or medicines. The best treatment is probably a combination of the two. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective talk therapy. In CBT, you work with a mental health professional to replace negative thoughts and thought patterns with positive thoughts. Antidepressant medicines known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors usually work best for Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
There is hope to change your outlook
If you’re suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, you may feel like you’re in a hopeless situation. But with the right resources and rethinking the way you look at yourself, you can live a fruitful and fulfilling life, and feel like your most beautiful and radiant self.
About AIM Medical
AIM Medical is a skincare products research, engineering and manufacturing company based in the world's medtech hub - Boston, Massachusetts. Dedicated to developing novel, safe, yet highly effective portfolio of products that target common dermatologic conditions, AIM Medical advances the high value opportunities for products that focus on wound care and atopic dermatitis. At AIM Medical we are proud of our heritage of creating health and beauty through technology innovation. We have aligned AIM Medical to be a worldwide healthcare brand advancing the cutting edge technologies to work in real.