Recently there has been an increase in the number of women (and men) suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) across the US. But what is this condition, why has it suddenly reached an all-time high and what can we do to treat it? Read on to find out more. What is BDD? Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or BDD, is a psychological condition in which the sufferer believes that they are ugly or disfigured – their attention is usually focused on one specific aspect of their appearance or one feature, such as their nose or their lips. It’s basically a severe fixation on body image and a distorted view of how the world perceives them physically, and it can lead to a range of other problems including social isolation, depression and anxiety if left untreated.
Why the Surge in BDD Sufferers It’s not known what causes BDD, but factors such as physical or mental abuse, bullying or abusive relationships can play a part. It often begins in early adolescence when we first become aware of our appearance to others, and the recent surge in BDD sufferers could be attributed to the importance that a modern society obsessed with beauty is placing on an individual’s appearance. We all strive to look like the airbrushed celebrities in women’s magazines, who often don’t appear anything like this in real life. Treatment for BDD Treatment for BDD is usually a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and anti-depressants. Some BDD sufferers become hooked on plastic surgery in an attempt to ‘fix’ the perceived defects with their face and body. Reputable plastic surgeons will always speak to their patients about their motivations for surgery, and if a BDD sufferer is not undergoing some form of treatment, it would be unusual for a surgeon to agree to undertake a cosmetic procedure on them. Plastic surgery can become an addictive spiral for BDD sufferers, who should seek medical advice to overcome their condition rather than trying to fix the problem on a physical level.