Body dysmorphia affects many people especially women. People with body dysmorphia often can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in their appearance. The perceived flaw is either minor or not observable to anyone else. However they may feel so ashamed and anxious that they may avoid many social situations.
A person with body dysmorphia intensely obsesses over their appearance and body image, they may repeatedly check the mirror, groom themselves, weigh themselves or seek reassurance, sometimes for many hours each day. The repetitive behaviors can cause significant distress, and impact their ability to function in life. People with body dysmorphia also often compare themselves to others and feel that they will never measure up in appearance to other people. They also tend to be perfectionists.
While there is no known cause, certain factors seem to increase the risk of developing body dysmorphia.
This is a list of some risk factors:
- Having blood relatives with body dysmorphia or obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Negative life experiences, such as childhood teasing and trauma
- Certain personality traits, such as perfectionism
- Societal pressure or expectations of beauty
- Having a psychiatric disorder, such as anxiety or depression