Here’s the rub for someone with Dysmorphic Disorder: everyone else thinks they’re beautiful. The definition of the disorder is that others cannot see the fault which the person thinks is so hideous. If you obsess about your beautiful nose more than an hour a day, then you have the disorder. But if you have a legitimately funky-looking nose, then you don’t qualify.
Wikipedia states it this way: It may be difficult to distinguish BDD from accurate (and justifiably emotionally fraught) self-perception by a perceptive individual who is actually physically disfigured in some way that would be acknowledged by others.
So if you have a funky nose and obsess about it for an hour a day, then our society says you don’t have a disorder. Instead, you have an opportunity to visit a plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon will “fix” your problem.
In our society where almost everyone is seen as imperfect, is it any wonder that only 1-2% of the population qualifies for BDD? The rest of us just don’t look quite flawless enough to qualify. Instead, we are sold perfumes, clothing, surgical treatments, cosmetics, and any number of improvements based on our low self-image. If you think you look reasonably good, just give enough advertisements a chance and you’ll feel horrible. I remember being in Thailand, home of the very thin woman, and seeing all the plump, buxom models selling skin-whitening cream. Perfect doesn’t sell products, so they created an impossible goal for that population.
How many of you do NOT have some aspect of your body you think could use improvement? If you do, then you have the beginnings of BDD. Just add enough obsession and depression, and we can all get there. Only it probably will be diagnosed as depression rather than BDD unless the doctor finds you beautiful.
We should all weep for the those with BDD, not just for them, but for all of us for whom the standard of beauty has become so impossible that even those who achieve it are killing themselves in despair.
- Excessive Dieting Linked To Increased Suicide Attempts For Those With Body Dysmorphic Disorder (inquisitr.com)
- Body dysmorphic disorder (riehlworldview.com)
- Restricted Food Intake A Predictor Of Increased Suicide Attempts In Body Dysmorphic Disorder Patients (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Dad walks 525 miles after son’s suicide (cnn.com)
- A Plastic Surgeon Speaks Honestly About Body Dysmorphic Disorder (bellasugar.com)
- Want a Nose Job? You Might Have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (bellasugar.com)
- When You Hate Your Appearance – Living With Body Dysmorphic Disorder (everydayhealth.com)
- Restricted food intake a predictor of increased suicide attempts in Body Dysmorphic Disorder patients (medicalxpress.com)
- Body dysmorphic disorder: Judy Asselin tells of heartbreak after son Nathaniel, 24, killed himself (dailymail.co.uk)
- Check Out My Interview with Empowher on Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Support Walk With Nathaniel! (nataschasantos.com)
- This body-image death spiral ends at universal self-hatred | Zoe Williams (guardian.co.uk)
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder (allaboutcounseling.com)