Monday, August 08, 2011

Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a.k.a., Body Dysmorphia

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) -- also known as body dysmorphia -- is a persistent psychological condition involving a sense of alienation from one's own natural physical features. Someone with BDD can look in the mirror and be disturbed by this, saying, "Who is that? I don't recognize this person. It's all wrong. This is ugly. Everyone tells me I'm good-looking. But when I look in the mirror -- or at old photos of me -- I can see I'm ugly." This might be related -- I once read a very distressing blog entry in which the author wrote something like, "I have the urge to cut my face up."

Someone who has experienced the condition of body dysmorphia very helpfully explains it in this video.

This one is also very helpful in its description:

I appreciate the candor of these vloggers. These issues are not easy to discuss. By doing so, however, they help educate people and let other sufferers of this condition know that they are not alone.

Someone can have body dysmorphia without having Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Likewise, someone can have BPD without having body dysmorphia. However, as I previously mentioned, a survey of individuals diagnosed with BPD found that about half of them also reported having symptoms of body dysmorphia.

This condition is the cause of much distress. To those of who have it and are disturbed by it, please know that you do not have to suffer through this. There are effective psychiatric treatments for this. Getting that treatment is difficult to start. But, in the end, it's worth it. :'-)

As you may notice, long-term recovery from this condition does not come from an extended effort to hide one's true appearance beneath some clever disguise. Rather, long-term recovery comes with radical acceptance of one's own natural-born, metaphysically-given anatomy. Once again, a stable and lasting happiness comes from true self-acceptance. :'-)