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It is noteworthy that the following questions pass through the mind in Body Perception Disorder: How do I look from the outside? When people look at me, do they see a fat person? Am I not showing the physical condition of my gender? Should I hide my physical disorder from people? If you answer these questions positively, you may need to review your body perception process again.
It has a body shape and appearance that people have always wanted to have. This desire takes shape according to the changes of time and culture. While in the 19th century, people wanted to have a more power-based image, in the 21st century, girls may perceive other body looks as imperfect, while seeing the barbie doll appearance as normal. Men, on the other hand, perceive the idea of having a muscular and athletic structure as outside of normalcy. Increasing the difference between this body appearance and body perception can cause dissatisfaction in people. As the degree of dissatisfaction increases, problems may arise that damage the functions of daily life. The advanced and severe form of this condition can be defined as a disorder.
Body Perception Disorder can be defined as seeing the bodily defect that the person does not have or minimally excessively obsessing it and experiencing this in his thoughts and experiencing this defect due to excessive anxiety, and as a result of this obsessive thought, people undergo plastic surgery to cover up the defects they think they have, It can exhibit various behaviors such as social isolation.
Diagnostic Criteria of Body Perception Disorder
• Dealing with thoughts of perceiving one or more flaws or apologies in their external appearance that are not observable or ignored by others.
• Sometime during the course of this disorder, the person engages in repetitive behaviors (such as looking in the mirror, overpainting, plucking the skin) or mental actions (comparing his external appearance with others) due to anxieties related to his appearance.
• These intellectual pursuits cause clinically significant distress or reduced functionality in social, work-related areas or other important areas of functionality.
• These intellectual preoccupations with appearance cannot be better explained by concerns about body fat or weight in a person with symptoms that meet the diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder.
Although the causes of Body Image Disorder are not known exactly, it has been determined that biological, genetic and sociocultural factors are effective. It has been emphasized that neuropsychological tests and brain imaging pathways, and areas that are effective in emotional information processing, such as facial images, fronto-striatal and temporoparietal-occipital processes, are also effective. The fact that the disease is seen 4 times more in first-degree relatives of these patients strengthens the presence of genetic causes. With this disorder, which is generally seen between the ages of 18-24, women tend to focus on their skin, hips, breasts and legs, while men are more likely to focus on their height, penis length or body hair. Some men suffer from anxiety that their bodies are small or not muscular enough. On average, people think about their appearance for 3 to 8 hours a day. In addition, people find themselves compelled to perform certain behaviors.
-Control their appearance in the mirror
By comparing their looks with those of other people
Asking others for assurances about their appearance
Or using strategies to change their appearance or camouflage body parts (grooming, tanning, exercising, changing clothes, and applying makeup)
While many people spend hours checking their appearance, some try to avoid being reminded of their perceived flaws by avoiding mirrors, reflective surfaces or bright lights. Appearance can affect and disrupt many aspects of professional and social functioning. Approximately 40 percent of people with the disorder find it difficult to do their professional profession and continue their daily lives.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy usage in the therapy part is widespread and more result oriented. Cognitive restructuring focuses on the correction of beliefs about patients' appearance, and the continuation of this is aimed at reducing compulsive actions and safety-providing behavior of the person. In the treatment method with medication, serotonin reuptake inhibitors can be started and antidepressants can be used according to the degree of the disorder. One of the critical points in the treatment process is the combined application of medication and psychotherapy. Otherwise, it will be difficult to progress and may be unfinished at some point. If you want to get expert support, you can contact our team.