We can hold a mirror in our pockets, and we can use it or pay no attention to it during a long day; but, for certain people, mirrors are a matter of life and death. Not just a passing thought, particularly for those with negative feelings regarding their body image, is the fascination with looking at a mirror; this is known as dysmorphophobia or body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).
BDD is a latent psychiatric illness that induces anger and anxiety; depression, social phobia, and even suicide attempts also follow it. Scientific studies have shown that symptoms of the disease can occur from five to eighty years of age, and that both men and women are affected by the disease. Some compulsive behaviours are typically established by people with BDD, such as constantly checking their appearance using mirrors and reflective surfaces or avoiding looking at them at all.
BDD occurs in different ways, such as repeated application of makeup, persistent change of sitting posture, or wearing heavy or loose clothes to mask perceived body defects. Other signs include repeated form and appearance queries, contrasting their appearance and shape to others, aggressiveness, excessive exercise, regular use of sun-tanning or skin lightening products, and frequent exposure without sufficient satisfaction to medical procedures and cosmetic procedures.
BDD needs a doctor who is trained in dealing with this condition or in treating related conditions as a form of mental illness, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, etc. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and compulsive disorders, are administered by physicians for treatment.
By improving the way of thinking and results, or generally using an Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) process, doctors could also resort to behavioral and cognitive therapy. In addition to understanding the things that motivate the occurrence of these symptoms, and discovering new ways of thinking and coping with compulsive behaviors, the patient is increasingly introduced to conditions that intrigue compulsive thoughts and a sense of stress against appearance. The doctor can also hold group discussions with individuals who have encountered similar issues, likely in the presence of members of the family. For those who have mild to moderate symptoms, this method is applicable.
Scientists have recently warned against the inappropriate use of technology and certain smartphone apps. As per the health.com website, they contribute significantly to resorting to cosmetic surgery; applying face filters could make certain people feel that without them, their faces are distorted. Surgeons find that 55 percent of patients undergo cosmetic surgery to enhance their appearance in selfies, which rose from 42 percent in 2015, according to the JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery medical journal.
An electronic gadget called HiMirror, which has an in-built camera and measures the condition of the skin on a scale of 1-100 percent, was unveiled by the Daily Mail. The system offers a skincare routine that discusses your personal needs and provides esthetic tips; this makes doctors view such new technologies as explanations for BDD, which leads to psychological problems. In Britain, figures also show that one in fifty individuals suffers from this condition.
Finally, recent studies have suggested some strategies to strengthen your relationship with yourself, such as self-care, consuming healthy foods, and doing workouts such as running and yoga, when dealing with the condition. It is also beneficial to write diaries to convey anxiety, rage, etc., so you will know the strategies you want to resolve as you obey your feelings and mood swings. Last but not least, performing charitable work brings out the best characteristics of the patient and helps to embrace oneself.