Feeling Fugly Even Though You’re Not? You Could Have Body Dysmorphia
There are times when you just don’t feel happy with the way you look, constantly finding fault of the way your body is built and trying your best to fix the flaws. Most of the times, this is a totally normal behaviour.
However, you should be worried if you can’t stop looking at the mirror and over-obsessing on that particular imperfection on a daily basis to a point which might bring suicidal thoughts.
Why? Because you could actually be suffering from a disorder known as body dysmorphia.
What is body dysmorphia?
Also known as BDD, body dysmorphia is a mental disorder in which one becomes obsessed with an imagined or slight defect in one’s appearance. To others, the flaws may not be that obvious, but to someone suffering from body dysmorphic disorder, the flaw(s) is so prominent that causes one to feel ashamed and anxious. People with BDD may even feel the need to avoid social situations and find difficulties functioning on a daily basis.
BDD may seem similar with an eating disorder, however, those affected are more concerned about specific body parts, weight and shape of the entire body.
For example, worrying or obsessing over skin imperfections like wrinkles, scars, acne, or body hair, facial features, and body weight. Some even obsess over body areas such as breasts, penis, thighs and body odours.
You spend a lot of time thinking about your appearance
People with BDD obsess over their looks so much that it takes over their time at work or at school. To a point, one can even spend hours daily preoccupied about their looks.
You focus on a particular body part
You may only be unhappy about a certain area on your body like your nose and not your entire body. The worst part is, you cannot be reassured of your imperfections and strongly feel that everyone else are just telling lies or just trying to make you feel better.
Your flaws affect your self-esteem
Since you dislike your physical imperfections, you believe that others around you notice your imperfections as well. You become extra conscious of your surroundings and avoid mixing with friends or relationships, out of fear of being judged.
You have a complicated relationship with mirrors
It could go either way – from totally avoiding mirrors out of fear of looking at the “defect” or using a mirror to constantly examine your appearance in the mirror.
You have an obsessive behaviour or ritual
From using heavy makeup to conceal your imperfections, religiously checking your weight, skin picking and even hair pulling. These habits provide a temporary satisfaction on your flaws.
With that, if you are suffering from body dysmorphic disorder, consult a doctor or a therapist to help you understand your body, thoughts, and feelings. Alternatively, you can find out more or take a test at BDD Foundation.