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What is body dysmorphia?

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To understand this disorder, we first need to explain that people who suffer from body dysmorphia live with persistent mania.

Social media models give society an idea of ​​what a “perfect” look should be. This raises many questions in the average person, such as “Is my stomach flat enough?”, “Aren’t my thighs too big?”, “Isn’t my nose too crooked?” And many others.

Many people begin to see defects, deformations and flaws in the mirror. This may indicate the presence of Distorted Mirror Syndrome, also known as body dysmorphia.

To understand this disorder, it is first necessary to explain that people who suffer from body dysmorphia live with persistent and persistent mania: they feel clear defects, defects or deformations in their body.

The bottom line is that for these people, what they perceive and reality are the same. They do not question their perception, but consider it an objective and indisputable truth. So much so that although the environment thinks differently or thinks they are exaggerating in the assessment they make of their defects, they remain firm in their faith.

They think that others tell them these things to comfort them or directly deceive them.

People suffering from Distorted Mirror Syndrome live in a state of great anxiety and grief. The unreal perception of their body generates an incorrect and irrational way of thinking and constant thinking. Therefore, behaviors that create conflicts with the partner, family, or workplace occur, and dangerous thoughts such as visiting a surgeon arise.

Cognitive processing distinguishes humans from other species (reptiles are not capable of this type of processing). This mechanism causes the image perceived by the retina to be processed by the brain and “processed” according to beliefs, expectations, fears, desires.

Body dysmorphia is not very common, only between 1% and 2% of the population is diagnosed with it. According to many studies, the emergence of this belief can begin in adolescence, although it can develop at any age.

Both men and women suffer from it. The most common concerns are facial defects (nose – which according to studies accounts for 45% of cases, as well as teeth, wrinkles, hair), body defects (abdomen, buttocks) and body odors.

What is being observed is that women are more concerned about the face, hair and shape or size of their breasts, and men are more focused on the appearance and size of their genitals.

Signs and symptoms include:

• Immersion in a defect in appearance that is noticeable or insignificant to others

• Strong belief that you have a defect in your appearance that makes you ugly or deformed

• Belief that others pay special attention to your appearance in a negative way or make fun of you

• Trying to hide perceived flaws with style, makeup or clothing

• Constantly comparing your appearance with that of others

• Frequently seeking opinions about your appearance from others

• Avoiding mass events with many people

Body dysmorphia usually does not improve on its own. If left untreated, it can worsen over time, leading to anxiety, severe depression, and even suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

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