Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) affects up to 10 million people each year in America, it’s something way too common and not discussed enough!
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition that causes an individual to spend excessive amounts of time worrying about flaws in their appearance.
These flaws are often unnoticeable to others and seem insignificant.
Being more common than anorexia nervosa, it’s important to understand the implications of BDD and more importantly, to know how to reduce any obsessive thoughts about your body.
It involves maladaptive thinking that, on a non-chronic level, seems all too common to the majority of us- being preoccupied with a perceived flaw in your physical appearance that seems insignificant or unnoticeable to others
Being excessively focused on one or more features of your body can have a very serious impact on your life.
This reduces yourself to your individual features, to your flaws, without realizing that others see you as a WHOLE.
This can lead to staking all your feelings of self-worth on individual physical features which a) others don’t notice and
b) say nothing about who you are in comparison to your character, goals, passions, relationships.
This not only leads to many wasted hours, obsessively thinking about your flaws instead of dedicating that time to more productive thinking, but it can also lead you to more extreme action: over-exercising, dieting, surgeries, avoiding social situations…
Disclaimer: I am not saying that you should diagnose yourself or anyone else with BPD or any other mental health disorder. BPD is something that should not be treated lightly, and those who do struggle with such issues, please know how important it is to reach out to those around you for support, and if needed, to seek out help from a mental health professional.
My quick tips on how to deal with obsessive thoughts about your body:
-Train your mind to think positive thoughts about those around you - look for the good in others’ appearances. It works :) What you focus on, you attract (I always say) so if you're constantly picking on others' apperance, you will be picking on yours as well.
-Think about life without obessing, how free you’d feel-and know that could be you.
-Make a mental note (if you write it down even better!) about what you bring to the table apart from what you look like
-Take SELF CARE days/afternoons/hours. Treat your body with love and kindness and this WILL lead to more kind loving thoughts about your body.
-Find HOBBIES that have nothing to do with calories, exercise, or food can be a great way to stay distracted. A hobby will help you find appreciation for the other parts of life, and accentuate strengths you may not have known you had. In turn, this can be a huge confidence booster, and give you the motivation you need to escape that negative feedback loop.