Cosmetic Surgery and Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Counselor in Raleigh, NCBody dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterized by an obsession with a perceived physical defect. The perception of a defect or imagined ugliness forces sufferers to check their appearance in the mirror repeatedly, seek reassurance of their attractiveness from others, seek out expensive cosmetic surgical treatments and utilize wigs, clothes and makeup to achieve their desired appearance. Body dysmorphic disorder is a treatable condition. Searching for a qualified counselor in Raleigh, NC? Call Legacy today. We care about you. Let us help.

Many of those who suffer from BDD turn to plastic surgery to correct their perceived flaws. However, the procedures are often unbeneficial to these people due to their continually changing concerns about their appearance. Studies have shown that BDD patients make up six to fifteen percent of those who undergo cosmetic surgery. Body dysmorphic disorder is similar to eating disorders like bulimia because of its intensely subjective and personal nature. Research indicates that having a history of sexual or physical abuse, a relative with the condition, being bullied as a child, feeling pressured by society to look a certain way, and having low self-esteem are all precursors for developing BDD.

Beyond seeking out cosmetic surgery, which carries significant risks to the health of the person who is undergoing the procedure, body dysmorphic disorder can lead to other co-occurring mental health issues like eating disorders, addiction to drugs or alcohol, or in some extreme cases, death. Identifying the tendencies of BDD is the first step in getting someone you love treatment. Signs of body dysmorphic disorder include:

  • Social situation avoidance
  • Hiding percieved flaws under bulky clothing or excessive makeup
  • Skin picking
  • Extreme feelings of self-consciousness
  • Hair plucking or excessive grooming
  • Avoiding mirrors
  • Frequent use of mirrors
  • Fixation on a physical characteristic that they see as ugly
  • Frequent and unsatisfying cosmetic surgery procedures
  • Refusal to take photos
  • Constant comparison of appearance to others

BDD sufferers tend to obsess over physical features like:

  • Breast size
  • Baldness
  • Blemishes or acne
  • Freckles or moles
  • Nose
  • Muscle size
  • Genitalia
  • Skin
  • Hair

As a result of these obsessions frequent cosmetic surgical procedures, hair appointments, laser treatments, or other physical appearance enhancing services may be sought. Often those with BDD are unhappy with the results and will retaliate against technicians and physicians in violent or uncontrollable ways. The cycle of obsessing and treating these perceived flaws becomes cyclical. Cosmetic surgeons are often sued by BDD sufferers they have performed surgery on because of perceived flaws in the surgical results.

Qualified Counselor in Raleigh, NC | Legacy Freedom

If you, or someone you love, are struggling with body dysmorphic disorder, Legacy Freedom of Raleigh can help. Our highly trained staff understands the deeply personal nature of this disorder and the co-occurring mental health issues that come with it. Whether your BDD is the result of sexual abuse or trauma, low self-esteem, bullying, physical abuse, or occurs alongside an eating disorder, our staff can help. Our holistic approach to your mental health care puts you at the center of your care plan, not your body dysmorphic disorder.

Together with your therapist, you will discover the root of your BDD and how to confront the feelings that motivate you to seek plastic surgery or to pick at your skin. One-on-one therapy will teach you new coping mechanisms and how to set healthy boundaries for yourself. Group therapy offers you a chance to connect with your peers and find support as you work to overcome your disorder. Alternative treatments are used to help you heal your body, discover and confront old traumas, and develop mindfulness practices to overcome your negative self-image.

Body dysmorphic disorder doesn't have to control your life. Call or click today to speak with a counselor in Raleigh, NC that you can trust!

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