Every one of us has a body. Each of these human shapes is different. Some people have large bodies while others have small ones. Some individuals have curvy shapes, while others have slim bodies. There are tall people and short ones. The list of different bodies goes on and on. Some people accept themselves for who they are and how they look, while other people have trouble doing so. People who have body image issues can manage them by talking them out with a trusted loved one. At the same time, other people struggle to handle their mental health concerns. If you have difficulty understanding how you look to the outside world, or you tend to focus on perceived flaws in your appearance, you might suffer from body dysmorphic disorder.

What is body dysmorphic disorder?

Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health condition where people cannot stop themselves from obsessing about perceived flaws in their appearance. It could be a minor issue to others or something that’s completely invisible to the outside world. Individuals with body dysmorphic disorder are so ashamed of their flaws that they intentionally isolate or avoid social situations. It’s common for people with this condition to suffer from social anxiety. Many other complications result from body dysmorphia. You can educate yourself on the condition by reading this section of BetterHelp. The more you learn about it, the better able you will be to combat it.

Those who have body dysmorphic disorder can become obsessed with their image. They could check the mirror multiple times a day or completely avoid their reflection because they’re afraid of how they look. These preoccupations and their flaws can be disruptive to mental health. They could become anxious or depressed due to their body image issues. Another issue they could struggle with is the persistent need for reassurance. Some individuals repeatedly ask their loved ones for assurance that they “look okay.” If the body image issues are so intrusive that they disrupt their mental health, they may seek out plastic surgery or procedures to “fix” the flaws. Body dysmorphia can cause people a lot of emotional anguish.

Body positivity and acceptance

A societal movement may help people with body dysmorphic disorder called body positivity. It helps push back against these cognitive distortions that people with BDD have. Body positivity believes that everyone deserves to have a positive body image, despite how society or pop culture characterizes shapes and appearances. When you look at magazines or images of celebrities online, they tend to have a similar body shape. Many have small slim figures, full lips, and zero body fat. These images are not accurate depictions of what “real people” look like. Body positivity helps people understand that their body shape deserves recognition, love, and respect.

Objectives of the body positivity movement:

  • Accepting all bodies regardless of shape and size
  • Helping individuals embrace their body
  • Confronting unrealistic body standards
  •  
  • Pushing back against societal standards of “beauty.”

There are many different elements to the body positivity movement. It’s important to note that this movement isn’t only about challenging societal expectations of body image due to the size and shape of one’s form. It also incorporates judgments based on gender, race, disability, and sexuality.  

Combating media messages of body image

One of the most significant body positivity goals is to combat the media messages that impact a person’s ability to see themselves accurately. If you have body dysmorphia, you may be intensely influenced by images in the media. You could have trouble comparing yourself to celebrity actors or models who don’t have your body shape. When you embrace the body positivity movement, it can help deal with the complicated issues surrounding body dysmorphic disorder. It can help if you seek out materials on body positivity. Another thing that can support you in healing from body dysmorphic disorder is seeking therapy.

How therapy can help those with body dysmorphic disorder

Therapy is an excellent place to discuss body image issues. Mental health professionals understand how painful these concerns can be, and how they may disrupt a person’s daily life. Some therapists help people with eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder. They understand how painful it can be to struggle with body image. You don’t have to struggle with these concerns alone. Talk to a mental health professional about your unrealistic standards surrounding body image. That way, you can gain emotional insight into why you’re so critical of your form. It’s not easy to cope with body dysmorphia, but you can push back against these ideas with body positivity and acceptance. You can see a therapist in your local area or find a mental health professional online. It’s crucial to get treatment for this condition to learn to love and accept yourself for who you are, rather than who society wants you to be.

Photo CreditJason Schjerven on Unsplash

Writers Credit – Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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