Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental disorder that is distinguished by the obsession with some aspect of one’s specific body part or general appearance as being flawed. This obsessional belief leads to behaviours that involve hiding that flawed part or extreme steps to fix that dysmorphic part. These dysmorphic body parts or part may be real or imagined, and either way, the steps are intrusive and pervasive so that they occupy much of the person’s day and thought processes as well as behaviour. It is important to distinguish BDD from vanity, in that vanity is about improvement, whereas a person with BDD aims at normalising that body part.
A person with Body Dysmorphic Disorder has immense emotional distress, and the preoccupation can often be so extreme that it interferes with day to day functioning. The person may also exhibit some or all of the following behaviours
- Social isolation,
- Repeatedly mirror check
- Perform repetitive grooming behaviours
Body dysmorphic disorder is not an eating disorder, though both conditions exhibit similarly severe and abnormal body image concerns and self-esteem issues. Men and women are equally affected by this disorder.
Treatment and how I work
My vast training in a number of modalities allows me to incorporate various tools into my work. Essentially, I see your issue as an opening, or a pathway that is merely the opportunity for us to walk along or through to uncover the deeper messages that the wisdom of your body is trying to tell us. Your challenge is not a failure or a negative, it is a message of brilliance that your body is trying to tell you.
My work is about what works best for you, and what will enable you to become your best possible self.
Your relationship with your body and food is thus a teacher, and an opportunity to learn and grow. By listening to the message, hearing what it is conveying and making meaning from it, you have the opportunity to make changes and move forward. Symptoms and feelings will continue to come back until their message is learnt. Everyone is different, and there is no one size fits all approach or modality. My work is about what works best for you, and what will enable you to become your best possible self.