Body dysmorphia is a mental health disorder that affects a little over 2% of the adult population. When left untreated, it can negatively affect your confidence and self-esteem, preventing you from spending time with friends and family or leaving your home. At The Transformation Center, with two convenient locations in the Cordova neighborhood, Tennessee, the team provides comprehensive care for body dysmorphia. To schedule an appointment, book a consultation online, or call the office nearest you today.

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What is body dysmorphia?

Body dysmorphia, also known as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), is a mental health condition that negatively affects your perception of your body. People with body dysmorphia often ruminate about defects or flaws with their appearance so much that they’re unable to focus on anything else.

If you have body dysmorphia, you might spend hours each day looking in the mirror, combing your hair, or seeking reassurance from others. Over time, the things that you don’t like about your appearance can cause severe distress and keep you from participating in routine activities like going to work or taking a vacation.

Some people with body dysmorphia try to correct perceived problems through plastic surgery. This might result in improved satisfaction, but only for a short time. Anxiety caused by body dysmorphia tends to recur, creating a vicious cycle.

What are the symptoms of body dysmorphia?

Body dysmorphia affects everyone differently. Common symptoms include:

  • Extreme preoccupation with one (or several) physical flaws
  • A strong belief that you’re defective or ugly
  • Unwarranted fear that friends or co-workers mock your appearance
  • Avoiding certain social situations
  • Having perfectionist tendencies

If you have body dysmorphia, you might also go out of your way to hide your perceived flaws with make-up, frequent hairstyle changes, or excessively buying new clothes.

Who is at risk of developing body dysmorphia?

Body dysmorphia affects people of all ages, races, and backgrounds, but it usually starts during the teenage years.

You’re more likely to experience body dysmorphia if you have family members with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or you’ve been diagnosed with another mental health condition like anxiety or depression. Past experiences can also play a role. For example, body dysmorphia can occur due to teasing experienced as a child.

How is body dysmorphia diagnosed?

To diagnose body dysmorphia, the team at The Transformation Center reviews your medical and psychological history and asks questions about your symptoms and their effect on your quality of life.

Afterward, they conduct a thorough evaluation, assessing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as they relate to your self-image. Make sure to answer your provider’s questions as honestly as possible. They may seem intrusive, but the more open you are, the easier it is to develop a custom care plan.

How is body dysmorphia treated?

Treatment for body dysmorphia usually includes a combination of counseling and psychiatric medication. Following a comprehensive exam and psychiatric evaluation, the team might recommend:

  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Music therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Yoga
  • Stress management

Though rare, severe cases of body dysmorphia may require hospitalization at a psychiatric unit.

To further explore treatment for body dysmorphia, schedule an appointment at The Transformation Center. Book a consultation online, or call the nearest office to speak with a team member.