Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), or "Body Image" struggles, is a condition that involves a preoccupation with appearance. While we have a local office that sees clients of all ages, who seek us for a variety of reasons, the specialty of (Michele) Paiva is Body Image and Self Worth, and the vegan, cruelty & gluten free line PĀIVÄ, is inspired to help women feel happier in their own skin. Our online programs are directed toward body image, self worth and wellness.
Individuals experience excessive shame and anxiety related to whole or specific areas of their body, and much of their self-worth is connected to how they perceive their appearance.
Sufferers often experience depression as well.
Some common complaints include:
- Skin tone, complexion, acne, wrinkles, pores, discoloration, or scars
- Nose size, shape, or profile
- Hair perceived as thinning, too thick, too curly, or disheveled. The hairline is also a common area of concern
- Teeth shape, size, and color, as well as concerns about gaps between teeth
- Head and face symmetry, size or shape, and its relation to other body parts such as the ears, jawline, or cheekbones.
- Size, symmetry, and shape of the eyes or eyelids, as well as concerns that the eyes are too close or too far apart from one another
Any area of the body can be the focus of body image preoccupation.
Most people with body image struggles connect to rituals, and these rituals are focused upon checking or hiding their body, or a focus on improving what they see as a flaw.
This includes all or some:
- Checking the body area of concern in reflective surfaces or the avoidance of viewing it
- Grooming behaviors such as excessive brushing, cutting, or styling hair
- Skin picking in an attempt to improve its appearance
- Repeatedly touching the body part considered defective
- Avoidance of social interactions that may expose the area of concern
- Cosmetic and dermatological procedures
- Reassurance seeking, looking for compliments or trying to glean attention.
Most people with body image struggles compare their bodies to others or compare selections of their body to others.
"Camouflaging" is a very common approach, in which make up, clothing (usually baggy) or hats, might help the sufferer alter or hide their appearance.
Related disorders and sabotaging behaviors include but are not limited to:
- Sexuality struggles
- Life Transition struggles (menopause, puberty)
- Social Phobia
- Substance Abuse
- Dermatillomania (skin picking)
- Tricholtillomania (hair picking)
- Orthorexia (Excessive Dieting, excessive pursuit of "healthy" diet and lifestyle, excessive exercise, hyper focus on supplements and "cleansing")