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Mental Health

You Might Have It: Body Dysmorphia


imageSociety puts up so much pressure. We put up so much pressure on ourselves and each other and it’s absolutely terrifying to be on the receiving end because it’s so much more than just insecurity or shyness you’re dealing with: it’s body dysmorphia.

Body Dysmorphia or Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a state of mind wherein one’s own definition of attractive has been conditioned into society’s view of what’s acceptable, the positives and negatives and the shortcomings and overwhelming features of beauty that pretty much “define” a person already. This condition has also been termed as imagined ugliness as it is described by an anxiety over some form of “deformity” characterized by a dissimilarity compared to the image in the media of people with the perfect weight and the perfect nose and the perfect skin and perfect everything. Meanwhile, victims spend hours upon hours trying to conceal, trying to perfect, trying to remove a certain aspect of their appearance and some spend hours upon hours trying to avoid every reflective surface because once they catch a glimpse it’s like falling into a cave and you can’t escape the thoughts voiced by the people in your life who you think you know think about your deformity and talk about you behind your back. Some lose day after day of not leaving their home because they ate too much that morning and they’ve got to exercise it off, but then it’s lunch time and there’s a big meal so they ditch the work-out. Some lose relationship after relationship because their friend got tired of having to always affirm their looks or because the boyfriend/girlfriend got tired of never going out or taking pictures because they were too “shy” even though it’s not about being shy; it’s body dysmorphia.

Personally, I think I might have it and maybe you might have it too. There are tests available on the Internet, but the only way too know for sure is by consulting a professional. Body dysmorphia can lead to multiple disorders, suicidal tendencies and other destructive thoughts and acts; that’s why it is crucial that you recognize it as soon as possible and/or get treated right away. However, if you’re unsure or are unable to tell someone about it, here are some simple steps that can help you: (it will not, however, relieve you of the disorder)

  1. Understand where it’s coming from. Find out and recognize the voices of the people in your head that are telling you about your flaws and pointing out every insecurity you might have.
  2. Distance yourself from these people. If it is a close family member, friend or even social media, try to zone them out whenever they start talking about your appearance or avoid conversations that could lead to the topic of your appearance.
  3. Realize your tendencies. Do you find yourself looking in the mirror multiple times in a day? Do you find yourself trying different tips and tricks you found on the Internet? If you do, try to avoid it. Find out when you do these things and what causes you to do these things.
  4. Try to find other people who have it. Shane Dawson posted a video about his experience with it on YouTube. He talks about what happened to him and how he dealt with it. Finding other people who can relate will seriously influence you and help you go through what you’re feeling.

Body dysmorphia disorder is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s something that should inspire you to stop listening to social media, other people’s opinions, the voices in your head and simply live and be who you want to be. It’s something that should help you realize that everyone looks different. There are no standards for beauty or success. You are your own person and you should define your own standards for health and success.

“Go to the mirror, look at yourself and say ‘hey, you’re not that bad.'” -Shane Dawson

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Gabrielle Mendoza
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gabby is a 16 year old writer and occasional musician. gabby is probably interested in the same TV show, music, movie, video game or artist as you are. knock knock. who's there?

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