Body Dismorphia

What is body dysmorphic disorder?

In this disorder the patient is preoccupied with a defect in appearance. This can be a real defect or an imagined defect. When it is real it usually is a slight variation of the normal or a slight physical anomaly. However, the important part is that the patient’s # concern is markedly excessive.

This preoccupation with this problem causes the patient marked distress and affects the social, occupational and other functioning in every day activities. In the case of dissatisfaction regarding body shape and preoccupation with weight loss the patient would be better classified as anorexia nervosa.

What are the signs and symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder?

Common concerns are preoccupation with the size or shape of the nose, the eyes, the mouth or the eyebrows. The breasts may be too large or too small, the hips may be too prominent, or the buttocks may be too pronounced. However, when the patient asks a relative or friend about their opinion, the patient does not accept the advice and starts the preoccupation again.

The patient spends hours every day looking at a mirror or researching opinions of Fake Ray Bans others, who do not take long to avoid the patient or get angered by this behavior. Although initially the frequent checking of the defect might have been reducing the anxiety about it, as time goes on it becomes clear that the more the patient checks the defect, the more anxious he or she becomes. Some patients are convinced that the ugly body part is very fragile or could be damaged any time.

Patients may want to hide as they do not want to get caught checking themselves all the time, but as time goes on find it more and more difficult to suppress the checking. Eventually it affects their social functioning and leads to social isolation as they do not participate fully at work, at home or with friends.

They may find it difficult to keep jobs or they work in jobs that are well below their capabilities. They may get into marital problems or find themselves faced with a divorce. Not infrequently they may develop a major depression with suicidal ideation or suicide attempt. At this time the family might learn for the first time about the underlying disorder as the patient was hiding it successfully from them up to that crisis.

How is body dysmorphic disorder treated?

It may take years before the patient is ready to volunteer these symptoms. It cheap jordans for sale may therefore take years before the disorder is diagnosed. Unfortunately, the longer the patient waits to seek treatment, the more difficult it is to treat as the thought patterns and habits that have been formed over the years are much deeper entrenched. The patient should be referred to a psychiatrist for proper diagnosis. Associated depressive illness needs to be treated with an SSRI antidepressant. Clomipramine (brand name: Anafranil) and fluoxetine (brand name: Prozac) have been used with a certain amount of success. Other useful therapeutic measures are self help support groups, supportive counselling and groups that focus on building up self-esteem.

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