Many people are dissatisfied with their appearance and would like to change something in it. But there are people who have a normal and attractive appearance, but believe that they are ugly. And that conviction ruins their life. Chronic person’s dissatisfaction with his appearance is a mental disorder. And in scientific society it is called dysmorphic disorder. It includes face, body and muscle dysmorphia.
It is not presumed as a separate disorder in the International classification of diseases of the tenth revision (ICD-10). It is defined as a type of hypochondriac disorder. In DSM-5, bodily dysmorphic disorder is defined as a separate mental disorder in the category of “obsessive-compulsive and related disorders”.
It usually begins in young or teen ages and has the same male and female disseminate statistic.
A person with the disease is overly concerned about a body’s little defect or its nature feature too much. Patients complain of one or several specific features that they consider to be defective. Sometimes they complain about the whole body appearance.
The greatest danger is that there is a high risk of suicide, much higher than in cases of other mental disorders. Besides, all the aspects of the patient’s life affected with it in a bad way. They have less or absolutely no ability to work, to live normally in society, to serve life needs themselves.
There are three types of dysmorphia:
It mainly affects teenages. Face dismorphiya is both about rejection of the appearance without objective reasons, and about reaction to evident physiological features: skin diseases, hypertrophied face parts, etc.
Face dysmorphia associated with physiological abnormalities is more difficult. This is also about injuries and traumas got by dangerous sports activity. The whole life of such people can be overshadowed by depressions. It is not necessary to neglect the estetic surgery. If the professionals can really help a person to get rid of the appearance defect that cause so much harm and sufferings, such help is worth using.
Muscle dysmorphia includes bigorexia when a man wants to gain just a little more muscle to become ideal. But it’s a chase for mirage that destroys all areas of the life, and victims of muscle dysmorphia, bigorexia in particular, just always unhappy with their appearance.
So, muscle dysmorphia is an obsessive need to increase the volume of his muscles. They spend an incredible amount of time to this purpose. And obviously mostly sportsmen suffer from the disorder. And it is really difficult to find out muscle dysmorphia, because hard and regular trainings are a sportsmen’s life, especially if they are professional.
Despite the fact that those who suffer from muscle dysmorphia usually have well-developed strong body, they consider themselves thin and weak. The image of their own body is distorted in the same way as in case of anorexics, who consider themselves thick, although in reality they are thin. Dangerous stuff such as hormones can also be used to increase muscle volume and that makes additional risk to the disorder.
Body dysmorphia is more than low self-esteem. A person is overly concerned about defects of his own body and frightened looking at the mirror. It is very popular and reveal itself in different degrees in almost 40% of young women. Body dysmorphia can be both an easy form of obsession in the care of a body, and the most heavy form, exhausting diet and sport practice. But all these accompanied with depression and self-isolation. The most radical result of body dysmorphia is anorexia. About 2% of the female population aged 16 to 32 years are predisposed to this disorder. In 20% of cases, anorexia leads to death. With permanent food reduction the body eventually rejects it itself at the physiological level. The result is a worsening of mental and physical disorders.
All types of dysmorphia have a different clinical picture, but are similar in symptoms, which are:
– the fear of one’s mirror image or, on the contrary, watching it too much
– to be too critically to one-self
– obsessive attention to the defect
– obsession tendency to mask the defect
– disturbing behavior
– suicidal thoughts
– exhausting the body with tryings to get rid of defects
How to avoid face, body and muscle dysmorphia
Dismorphia is a complex, intricate set of mental disorders, the symptoms of which should not be ignored. The mortality rate of this disease is about 8%, which makes it on the same level as suicide. Treatment dysmorphia disorders has a high priority among psychologists.
To save mental health we should keep balance in life and don’t worry too much about our imperfections. Besides we should heed the opinion of nearest people to get more or less objective assessment about ourselves and our health state.