Let's be honest; we all have those days where we don't like what we see in the mirror. We may have a slight concern about an aspect of our appearance, and while this may affect our mood or attitude for a while, these thoughts are often quickly forgotten.
However, for sufferers of body dysmorphic disorder who have a negative body image, their days are filled with negative destructive thoughts and feelings about the flaws and imperfections in their bodies.
To find out more, call me on 01772 499046 or "email me by clicking here".
What is body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)?
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is an anxiety disorder related to a person's body image. A person suffering with BDD has an obsessive preoccupation with one or more perceived minor defects in their appearance.
They may describe themselves as looking unattractive or deformed, or even hideous or like a monster. Concerns most often focus on the face or head but can include any body area or the entire body, and concern with multiple body areas is typical.
For the sufferers of BDD, the preoccupation with appearance is difficult to resist or control and becomes a compulsion. This compulsion can consume hours of meticulous checking and grooming. BDD is often associated with fears of rejection and feelings of low self-esteem, shame, embarrassment, unworthiness or being unlovable.
This obsession can cause significant anxiety about their imperfections to the point where it interferes with their daily lives, and as with most anxiety based issues, it is a way to control an unconscious fear.
Are people with Body Dysmorphic Disorder just vain?
No; quite the exact opposite in fact, they may often believe they are ugly or have major defects.
Body dysmorphic disorder has been referred to as the imagined ugliness syndrome. However; this is unkind to the sufferer as the perceived ugliness is very real to them and sufferers are usually afraid that people will think they are vain or self-obsessed because they feel the need to keep questioning or checking their appearance.
Many sufferers are aware that these feelings are an over-reaction to the perceived or minor defect, while others are totally convinced that their perception is utterly real. Most sufferers with BDD realise that others believe their appearance is normal, but their perception of being ugly is real to them.
What are some of the causes of body dysmorphic disorder ?
One theory of Body dismorphia is that it's a way to deal with extreme emotional anxieties. We unconsciously push those anxieties onto our physical appearance because it's more manageable than trying to manage our feelings.
The short version is if you feel bad then blame it on the size of your nose, or leg, or that spot that just won't go away, so one symptom of body dysmorphic disorder is meticulous and compulsive grooming.
A couple of the drivers may be control and perfectionism in our appearance as a way to control the emotional anxiety. So by being perfect I can take the pain away.
Common terms I hear are about not being even, or symmetrical, one part doesn't match the other part or side. If I'm not even or symmetrical then I'm not good enough!
Trouble is that because the conscious mind is limited to what it sees, what we focus on grows stronger. As with an ache or pain that in the night can seem more intense, so can that spot or blemish or nose or leg seem more out of place. We see what we expect to see.
Anxiety = fear, and one of the biggest fears is am I not loveable. In the extreme case with BDD it can fall into the basic law of cause and effect, if I'm not perfect, then I'm not loveable. That anxiety comes from somewhere and so with analytical regression hypnotherapy we find out where.
From the people I've worked with there are a number of common factors or triggers responsible for their BDD such as:
- Abuse or bullying
- Low self-esteem
- Fear of not fitting in
- Fear of being alone or isolated
- Perfectionism or competing with others
- Feeling judged
How does body dysmorphic disorder and a negative body image affect a person?
Feeling judged can also be a big issue, and many sufferers of BDD do not seek help as they are worried that people will judge them, or think they are vain. This means that many people are likely to experience BDD for a long time before seeking help.
BDD can often lead onto cosmetic or plastic surgery, and in extreme cases it can lead onto an addiction to cosmetic or plastic surgery in the hope or belief that if the look better, then they will be cured.
To try and alleviate the anxiety many sufferers of BDD engage in repetitive time consuming and compulsive behaviours aimed at improving, examining or hiding the perceived defect. These common behaviours often include:
- checking their appearance (e.g., applying or touching up makeup, hair styling),
- seeking reassurance about their appearance from anyone available
- camouflaging (e.g., with a hat, clothes, or makeup)
- checking skin, face, lips, hair, etc by feeling with their fingers
- picking their skin to make it smooth
- eating a restricted diet
- making comparisons against airbrushed models in magazines or normal people in the street.
It may also cause other problems such as:
- feelings of shame, guilt and loneliness
- isolating yourself to avoid situations that cause you anxiety or discomfort
- depression or anxiety
- misuse of alcohol or other drugs
- suicidal thoughts.
How does analytical hypnotherapy help me overcome body dysmorphic disorder?
Did you choose to have body dismorphia? Of course not! No one is born with body dysmorphic disorder or a negative body image, in some cases it is learnt behaviour, in others it develops gradually over time and may be a conditioned response to the comments and criticisms of others.
However, the simple fact is that something happened to start this behaviour, and by using analytical hypnotherapy that incorporates aspects of therapies such as thought field therapy, emdr, EFT tapping, CBT and mindfulness we work together to find out what that was, and then break and the driving emotions so that you can be free to enjoy life..
How many sessions of Hypnotherapy will I need?
The number of sessions required varies from 3 to 6, with session typically lasting for approx 2 hours.
What's the cost per session?
The cost per session is £60, with each session lasting around 2 hours.
How can I pay for treatment?
Payment is per session and can be paid in cash, debit card, Visa or MasterCard at the end of each session.
What's the next step in overcoming my anxiety around my BDD?
If you have been suffering from body dysmorphic disorder, don't spend any more time on the sidelines of life, then call me on 01772 499046, or email me by clicking here.
Summary of servicesChris Gelder Hypnotherapy
Finton Doyle Accountants, 107 - 109 Towngate
Hypnotherapy help and treatment for body dysmorphic disorder, BDD and negative body image, Lancashire