What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
Body dysmorphic disorder is a psychological condition most likely to develop in adolescence and is equally common in both females and males. This disorder is characterized by a significant concern that there is something wrong with the shape or appearance of one’s body. This disorder can cause devastating results, as individuals with the condition may go through painful medical procedures in order to correct their what they dislike about certain body parts.
What are some symptoms of the condition?
Symptoms of the condition include severe psychological problems, a preoccupation with an imaginary defect or excessive concern about a slight physical anomaly. This preoccupation causes significant distress and often impairs one’s work, social and personal life. Signs of distress or dysfunction are similar to those of extreme self-consciousness. This may include prolonged grooming and staring in mirrors, dressing in concealing garments, or seeking repeated alterations for perceived flaws.
Those with body dysmorphic disorder may seek reassurance for their perceived flaws or may try to hide them entirely. If an individual does try to hide his imperfections, this can likely result in an avoidance of social and public situations to the extent that the inflicted individual remains indefinitely housebound.
How does the disorder progress?
Body dysmorphic disorder affects both men and women who are relatively young. Currently, little is known about what happens to inflicted individuals as they age. We do know, however, that sufferers of this condition also tend to suffer from depression or anxiety as well. If left untreated, the condition can also lead to adult mental health disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), dysthymic disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, or PTSD.
How can I help treat my child’s condition?
Treatment often begins with an assessment of anxiety and depression. Treating these, or any other mood disorders, first is most effective. This may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
Psychotherapy is useful in providing sufferers the stable, accepting, empathic relationships they need to sort through their challenges. Psychotherapy also includes stress management and may include collaboration with a physician to attend to medical aspects of physical complaints.
Our Approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy
At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, our neuropsychologist and licensed professional counselor will design a psychotherapeutic treatment plan based on the overall evaluation of the sufferer’s mental health.