top of page

3 ways to manage body dysmorphia

Have you ever had moments where you stand in front of the mirror for minutes focusing on the flaws you think your body may or may not have? Well, there is more to body dysmorphia than just wanting to look skinny. Body dysmorphia is also known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder or BDD for short. To put it plainly, BDD is a mental health condition that involves you having an obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in your body.

Before you start with all the slim teas and concoctions, why don’t you take a deep breath and ask yourself if your perceived flaws have ever made you feel depressed or made you look down on yourself. Body positivity cannot be gotten in a day. That is what we at Empathy Space are here for.

Symptoms of Body Dysmorphia

Now that you have an understanding of what body dysmorphia entails, you may be wondering if you may be exhibiting the symptoms or not. Here are some of the symptoms that may be linked to BDD:

  • Constantly checking yourself in the mirror or Avoiding mirrors

  • Trying to hide yourself using clothing or makeup

  • Excessively exercising

  • Comparing yourself with others

  • Avoiding social activities

  • Feeling anxious, depressed, and ashamed

  • Low self-esteem

  • Picking at your skin

  • Thinking of suicide

  • Frequent change of clothing

  • Lack of concentration at work or school

Causes of Body Dysmorphia

Body dysmorphic disorder mostly starts in the early teenage years and affects both males and females. The exact cause of BDD is unknown. However, it may result from some factors such as family history, bullying in school, negative evaluations or experiences about your body or self image. It could even be as a result of abnormal levels of the hormone serotonin in the brain.

Since the cause is unknown it is very important you seek help from the right professional if you exhibit any of the symptoms stated above. As BDD is a very serious mental health condition.

Other factors that might influence the development or trigger BDD includes:

  • Experience of traumatic events or emotional conflict during childhood

  • Low self-esteem.

  • Parents and others who were critical of the person's appearance.

  • Pressure from peers and a society that equates physical appearance with beauty and value.

  • Abuse or bullying

  • Fear of being alone

  • Depression or Anxiety

Consequences of leaving body dysmorphia untreated.

Body dysmorphia is a very dangerous mental health condition and if it is left unaddressed, it could lead to very serious consequences such as:

  • Suicidal attempts

  • Self harm

  • Hatred for one's body and self

  • Social isolation

  • Illness or death due to extreme measures taken to reduce flaws

People with BDD may also develop a few more mental disorders like

  • Personality disorders

  • Eating disorders

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Depressive disorders

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

How to manage BDD.

Here are some steps you can take to be able to properly manage body dysmorphia:

Practice self-love:

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to fall in love with your body. It is important to always remember that your body did not betray you. If it also helps, take some time off social media and what the society refers to as the standard of beauty. You are beautiful or handsome just the way you are.

Eat Healthy