"Distortions control my self-image, like they do for a lot of us. It's irrational."
– Ron Perlman
Are you completely satisfied with the way you look? Statistics show that roughly 80% of women and 34% of men are dissatisfied with their body. Unfortunately, some people have extreme views regarding their body image, obsessing over what they believe are flaws and going to extremes to fix it.
This condition, known as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), has become increasingly popular in today's society. Men, women and even adolescents may view their bodies as being flawed and imperfect, so they obsess over ways to "fix" it. Because the individual's perspective is skewed, however, there's no achievable goal. Someone suffering from BDD may seek Botox injections and cosmetic plastic surgery. But instead of having just a single cosmetic procedure performed, they make it a regular part of their life because their body never looks "perfect" in their eyes.
How Common is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
While the exact number remains unknown, studies estimate that approximately 1.7% to 2.4% of the population suffers from BDD. To put that number into perspective, that's more than 2 million people in the United States alone! As noted by Wikipedia, however, this disorder is "greatly underdiagnosed," meaning the actual number of cases is likely even higher.
The Dangers of Body Dysmorphic Disorder
There are numerous problems associated with BDD, one of which is an impaired quality of life. When a person views his or her body in a negative manner, they may feel withdrawn and socially isolated. Instead of going out with friends and participating in other social activities, people with BDD will often prefer to stay at home by themselves. This isn't because they necessarily want to avoid social activities, rather they feel embarrassed or ashamed by their body image. Of course, the lack of social interaction can lead to other problems like anxiety, depression, and even an increased risk of suicide attempts.
People who suffer from BDD may also develop eating disorders. If a person believes that he or she is overweight, for instance, they may stop eating -- even when they are hungry.
How to Overcome Body Dysmorphic Disorder
The good news is that you can overcome BDD. A study published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease found that half of participants with BDD reached the recovery stage after five years. So while overcoming BDD is not a fast or easy process, it can be done.
The first step towards recovery is to change the perspective from which you view your body image. There are different ways to do this, although one of the most effective ways is to write a list of the top 10 things that you like about yourself. Now, begin every new day by reading this list aloud. Even if you don't fully believe it at first, your mind will eventually perceive it to be true, assuming you continue the process.
Get the support you need to make important life changes. If you would like to complement your therapy with an alternative treatment option (or need a place to start), you might consider trying hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy can help you sort out your feelings and give you the courage and strength you need to move on with your life, set new goals, and rebuild an always damaged self-esteem.
Call for your FREE consultation. No pressure. No obligation. Let me help you understand what this might mean for you. Hypnosis and Life Coaching have helped many. Let it help you.