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Default Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) - 12-12-2009, 02:56 PM

I found out about this mental disorder today, and I think there's a good chance I might have this. People tend to call me pretty, no matter how ugly I feel. There's always something that I see in the mirror that I hate.

Here's the wikipedia page: Body dysmorphic disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I suggest you all read through it, because it's quite informative and I don't really want to quote everything. I will summarize though.

BDD is a psychological anxiety disorder in which the affected person is excessively preoccupied with an imaginary (or slight) flaw in their appearance. This is a terribly dangerous disorder, and has more than DOUBLE the completed-suicide rate of major depression and 45 TIMES the general US population rate. People with this disorder are extremely self-critical with their self-image, and often wish they could change many things about themselves - despite being generally normal or even highly attractive. Others will often disagree or protest that this flaw even exsists, because the flaw(s) only exist in the eyes of the affected.

BDD is often percieved as a vanity-driven obsession, when it's actually the opposite. People with this will often compulsively look at themselves in the mirror (or window, reflection, whatever they can find) or sometimes cover up all mirrors.

According to the DSM IV, to be diagnosed with BDD, a person must fulfill the following criteria:
  • "Preoccupation with an imagined defect in appearance. If a slight physical anomaly is present, the person's concern is markedly excessive."
  • "The preoccupation causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning."
  • "The preoccupation is not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., dissatisfaction with body shape and size in Anorexia Nervosa)."[11]
Also, approximately 76% of those with BDD will experience some form of major depressive disorder at some point in their lives - much higher than the 10-20% of the general population. Eating disorders (such as anorexia or bulimia) are sometimes found in those who suffer BDD.

The most common areas that the "defect" exists are the skin (73%), hair (56%), and nose (37%). Other common areas include the toes, weight, abdomen, bre@sts/chest, eyes, thighs, legs, teeth, and facial features.

BDD usually develops during adolencence, where people are generally the most sensitive about their appearance. Personality traits like perfectionism, neuroticism, introversion/shyness, and sensitivity to rejection or critique can also make someone more susceptible to developing BDD.

I suggest you also look at the wikipedia page for the symptoms and compulsive behaviours associated with the under-diagnosed and little known disorder.
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