Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD): Signs & Symptoms

woman looking at her stomach in the mirror

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

When most of us look in the mirror, we find something that we don’t like—whether that’s an unsightly scar, teeth that aren’t straight enough, or maybe a nose you’re not too fond of. While we all have imperfections that can bother us from time to time, imagine that being all you can think of or see every time you look in the mirror. This is a reality for those living with body dysmorphic disorder. Here’s what you should know.

What is BDD?

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a body-image disorder that is characterized by an intrusive fixation on their appearance, especially when it comes to a slight or imagined defect. For this person, this feeling can be all-consuming, leading to emotional distress that can cause other issues in their day-to-day life.

While people who have BDD can dislike any part of their body that affects their appearance, it’s common for them to focus on their:

  • Skin
  • Hair
  • Nose
  • Chest
  • Stomach

Signs & Symptoms

People who have BDD suffer from obsessions with their physical appearance that are difficult to control, lasting for hours at a time. This intense focus on perceived imperfections can lead to the development of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

Common signs and symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder include:

  • Comparing body parts and features to others’ appearances
  • Camouflaging or hiding features i.e., posture, clothing, makeup, hats, etc.
  • Looking into appearance-altering surgery
  • Constantly checking their appearance in the mirror
  • Changing clothes frequently
  • Avoiding mirrors completely
  • Excessive grooming activities
  • Excessive exercise
  • Avoiding social situations

Seeking Help at Tapestry

At Tapestry, our treatment programs are dedicated to understanding our clients as whole people with varied life experiences. Whether you have questions about mental health or how to support a loved one struggling with their mental health, we are here for you. Contact us today by filling out a confidential form or give us a call at (844) 299-1343.

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