This is a real disorder, classified in the DSM IV (the psychologists dictionary, basically).
“Reassurance from the physician, however, that “there is nothing wrong” or “nothing to be concerned about” has little lasting effect on these patients. Only a small minority recognize the groundlessness of their concerns; the vast majority are more or less convinced, and in a significant proportion the conviction becomes a delusion. Patients are often in torment over their “defect,” and the majority repeatedly check themselves in mirrors: in some cases such “mirror-checkers” may be so distressed by what they see that they may avoid mirrors, or cover them up. Most patients avoid contact with others, and a minority become housebound; ideas or delusions of reference may appear. A majority of patients eventually seek treatment from plastic surgeons or dermatologists, with uniformly disappointing results and a tendency to seek legal redress. Most patients have concurrent disorders, such as major depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder.” - (source here)
The symptoms can include any one or more of these things:
- Obsession with appearance
- Obsession with checking mirrors
- Obsession with touching/covering area that is upsetting to the patient
- Delusions that patient looks completely different than they appear to other people
- Obsession with plastic surgery, usually dissatisfied with surgery(ies)
- Suicidal ideation
- Social withdrawal
- Eating disorders
What I want to get across is that this is a real disorder. It is not something you self-diagnose with, nor is it something to be taken lightly. When people say something about their appearance that they don’t like, don’t just roll your eyes and say that there is nothing wrong with it, I urge you to talk to them about it. It can be very hurtful to have your feelings about yourself completely disregarded, especially when it comes to something so personal; your own looks. This goes for ANYBODY, not just people with body dysmorphia.
Keep in mind that NOT EVERYBODY WHO DISLIKES SOMETHING ABOUT THEMSELVES HAS BODY DYSMORPHIA. I’ve been seeing a lot of that going around and I have to say it’s a bit demeaning to me.
I was diagnosed with body dysmorphia and depression a while ago, don’t ask me why, I really don’t know! I have huge problems with the way that I look but with a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy I have become much better. My psychologist is actually the woman who pushed me to start up this blog! I thank her for that because I love it, it gives me a healthy outlet to talk about things and to try to get over my fears of people seeing me.
I and many other people with this disorder are truly hurt when people say, ” you’re just fishing for compliments.”
We aren’t, we are just trying to reach out and find some sense of normality with ourselves.
I just wanted to talk about it because I want everybody to know that even if they have problems like “psychological disorders” they are still okay. We are all normal because we are all crazy and weird! We are all beautiful because nobody is ugly to every single person in the world.
Keep your chins up, buttercups!