What is Dismorphic Disorder?
dysmorphic disorder is a mental disorder that makes the sufferer feel embarrassed and anxious about the deficiencies or defects that exist in his body, although the nature is small or even not realized by others.
One of the symptoms of a person with a dismorphic disorder of the body is his obsession with the image and appearance of the body so almost every time to check his condition in front of the glass.
People with dysmorphic disorders will continue to look for cosmetic procedures that can improve the deficiency, but always feel dissatisfied with the results. The face and size of the breast are some of the most common parts of the body and can change to other parts of the body over time.
This disorder can be experienced by men or women, and usually appears in the early years of adolescence (age 13-16 years) and young adults. Treatments for these dismorphic disorders include cognitive behavioral therapy and drug delivery.
Causes of Dysmorphic Disorder
Like most mental disorders, the cause of the body’s dysmorphic disorder is also not known with certainty. This condition can be a combination of several causes and also the following risk factors:
- Have a family member who has the same condition or obsessive compulsive disorder.
- Abnormalities of structures or chemical compounds in the brain.
- Ever through life experiences that leave a bad impression, for example, often teased about body image when small, get bad behavior about body shape, or often neglected due to body size.
- Social pressure that comes from the neighborhood, for example, has a high expectation of beauty.
- Certain characters or personalities, such as a perfectionist.
- Have psychiatric disorders, such as depression or anxiety.
Dysmorphic disorders of the body are also commonly experienced by a person suffering from social phobias and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
Symptoms of Dysmorphic Disorder of the Body
A typical symptom of a person with dismorphic dysfunction is a mindset that states that his appearance is not perfect, although others do not find any defects in the person. This mindset is sedentary and often becomes a belief believed by the sufferer making it difficult for others to convince otherwise.
In addition, the patient can be obsessed with the thought that his posture is too small or one part of his body is really ugly. This is usually experienced by men. Approximately 40 percent of people with dismorphic disorders think about their dislike of their body parts for as much as 3-8 hours per day. While 25 percent think about it for more than 8 hours per day.
The following limbs are the ones that most often affect the patient’s outlook:
- Skin and appearance of blood vessels or pulse
- Hair, eg thin or baldness (most commonly experienced by male sufferers).
- The face, for example the shape of the nose, wrinkles, pimples, stains, and complexion of the skin.
- The size and shape of muscle
- Breast size
Here are some other common symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder:
- Assume others are always paying attention, mocking, or looking at their own negative appearance.
- Perform an activity repeatedly to make sure the lack of this body is not seen by others, such as always looking at the mirror, dress up, or pinch the skin. But there are also people who become depressed when looking at the mirror so they tend to avoid it.
- Always try to conceal her shortcomings with the style of clothes or makeup.
- Always searching but not satisfied with the results of cosmetic procedures that run.
- Avoid social situations.
- Always need the opinion of others who claim that his appearance is fine.
- Always compare the appearance of yourself with others.
- Has a perfectionist tendency towards something.
- Excessive diet or exercise.
- Being obsessed with appearances to affect or cause problems in social life, school, work, relationships, and other areas of life.
Although different from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), but patients with dismorphic disorders also have the same behavior with patients with OCD, which is doing an action repeatedly, for example, mirror. This is why the patient will also go through treatment related to the behavior.
Diagnosis of Dysmorphic Disorder of the Body
The diagnosis of body dysmorphic disorder can be established through anamnesis diseases and psychiatric evaluation. The doctor will then refer the patient to a mental health professional (psychiatrist) for further observation and treatment. Some possible evaluations include:
- Medical history of the patient, family, and social circumstances in the neighborhood.
- Psychological observations that will assess some risk factors, thoughts, feelings, and behavior of patients associated with poor self-image.
- Symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association (American Psychiatric Associations).
If you feel you have the symptoms mentioned above but are still unsure, you can make notes on some things related to these symptoms before consulting a doctor. For example, How many hours of the day do you think about your appearance, what makes you anxious about your appearance, how it affects your life, and whether it interferes with social life.
Treatment of Dysmorphic Disorders of the Body
Handling of body dysmorphic disorders consists of cognitive behavioral therapy and drug delivery, as well as a combination of both. In some cases, patients with severe body dysmorphic disorders may require psychiatric treatment at the hospital, for example in patients who are unable to perform daily activities. Patients with the potential to harm themselves also fall into this category.
- Provision of drugs that would inhibit the absorption of serotonin or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors / SSRIs. It is also used to treat other mental disorders, and in this case serves to control the repetitive behavior and obsessive behavior of the patient. You may need to take these drugs daily for 12 weeks to 12 months, adjusted for the patient’s condition and response to treatment. Some of the common side effects are headache and nausea. In addition to SSRIs, another drug that may be given by doctors is clomipramine.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. This therapy will help the sufferer in some of the following:- Helping the patient to recognize bad or negative thoughts, emotional reactions, and behaviors that can be a problem.- Helping the patient recognize how to handle or reduce the desire to see the mirror and get comfort of his appearance.- Helping the patient learn other behaviors that can improve his mental health.- Guiding people who automatically think negatively about themselves to learn a more realistic and flexible way of thinking.
Complications of Dismorphic Disorders of the Body
If not treated properly, dismorphic disorders of the body tend to worsen over time and may lead to depression or anxiety, even suicidal thoughts or behavior.
In addition to some of the above complications, it can also trigger some of the following conditions:
- Disorders of the skin due to skin pinching habits.
- Eating disorders
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Substance abuse