Body dysmorphic disorder

A preoccupation with your appearance? One that potentially prevents you from socialising or attending events? Constantly checking your reflection in the mirror and obsessing about flaws that are not validated by others? A life spent hiding a particular feature from others so that you habitually hold yourself, or present a particular side of yourself to people when engaging them?

If any of the above statements ring true, you may have body dysmorphia (BDD).

BDD is a psychological condition that is characterised by a fixation on appearance, excessive thoughts and repetitive behaviours that can be difficult to control and time consuming. Often the self-dissatisfaction of BDD is such that it interferes with social life, work, school or other areas of functioning.

Why are we discussing BDD? Because BDD and cosmetic interventions have a tumultuous relationship and as responsible consumers and providers of cosmetic treatments, one should be aware of how engaging with cosmetics may in fact worsen the severity of BDD for sufferers. Typically the physical concerns held by BDD sufferers organically encourage them to seek out cosmetic interventions in an attempt to improve the feature(s) that plague them most. Maybe not surprisingly, this form of ‘solution’ often results in further obsession and can augment the problem for sufferers who may lack insight into the psychological versus physical nature of their condition.

Sadly it is estimated that approximately 80% of individuals with BDD have experienced suicidal thoughts, and one in four have attempted suicide. A concerning statistic given that social media which is firmly embedded in modern society is touted as a powerful trigger for those with BDD.

The good news is that BDD can be effectively treated and that people can live normal lives beyond diagnosis.

@aescendaesthetics we don’t want to propagate the problem, witnessing first hand the torment that befalls sufferers of BDD. Instead we pledge to be a safehaven. Screening for the condition, offering conservative solutions, and referral to specialist psychologists where there is concern for BDD.

If this sounds like you, visit your GP or see an Aescend artisan today for referral to industry specialists.

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