What is Body Dysmorphia?

By Editor on 23rd Jan 2020

A women looking into a mirror

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, the singer and entertainer Lizzo revealed that she had struggled with a disorder called Body Dysmorphia.

“I’ve come to terms with body dysmorphia and evolved,” she said in the interview. “The body-positive movement is doing the same thing. We’re growing together, and it’s growing pains, but I’m just glad that I’m attached to something so organic and alive.”

The Mayo Clinic defines body dysmorphia as “Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health disorder in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance — a flaw that appears minor or can’t be seen by others. But you may feel so embarrassed, ashamed and anxious that you may avoid many social situations.”

There are no known causes for this mental health disorder, but some attribute it to the media’s portrayal of bodies – particular female – and a preconceived notion of what someone ‘should’ look like. Signs and symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder include:

– Being extremely preoccupied with a perceived flaw in appearance that to others can’t be seen or appears minor
– Strong belief that you have a defect in your appearance that makes you ugly or deformed
– Belief that others take special notice of your appearance in a negative way or mock you
– Engaging in behaviors aimed at fixing or hiding the perceived flaw that are difficult to resist or control, such as frequently checking the mirror, grooming or skin picking
– Attempting to hide perceived flaws with styling, makeup or clothes
– Constantly comparing your appearance with others
– Frequently seeking reassurance about your appearance from others
– Having perfectionist tendencies
– Seeking cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction
– Avoiding social situations

Those who suffer from this mental disorder can also be prone to depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. According to studies, this disorder rarely gets better on its own, but the symptoms can be alleviated by cognitive behavioral therapy, counselling and speaking with a mental health professional.

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