Last Updated on November 21, 2021 by Ben Lesser
Dysmorphic Disorder is very common. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s storey “The Birthmark,” he describes a scientist married to a beautiful lady with a minor red mark on her eye. The protagonist quickly recognised the problem and spent the rest of the storey attempting to remove the label from a woman he adored. He succeeds in the end, but he kills his innocent bride in the process. Many literature students are likely to see the storey as a metaphor for nature and science, as well as man’s ineffectiveness in trying to change the world around him. In the other hand, by reading the account, mental health professionals may be able to recognise aspects of their patients.
People with the dysmorphic disorder develop attachments to certain aspects of their appearance and become obsessed with altering their appearance. When a person is unhappy with his or her appearance or personality, this is a mental illness that must be addressed promptly, or the mental condition can become a threat to one’s health, either physically or mentally. If they start taking drugs to make their bodies perfect, they will misuse the drug and become addicted to it. When a person becomes addicted to one substance, there is a high likelihood that he or she may have a mental health problem. Co-Occurring Condition of Mental Health Disorders is the term used to describe this dysmorphic disorder situation.
In this way, they take both role of bride and scientist in Hawthorne’s narration. They try every step to perfect their bodies. They even abuse various types of substances in this dangerous attempt. The relationship between body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and addiction is a universal question. The two situations are very similar yet very different. A person with the dysmorphic disorder has an intense preoccupation with his or her appearance; in some cases, this can lead to compulsive over-grooming. With an addiction, the individual may have repeated attempts at kicking the habit but will fail time again.
Like many anxiety disorders, there is a relationship between body dysmorphic disorder and addiction. Many of those with the dysmorphic disorder have some addiction such as gambling, drugs, alcohol, or pornography. As with many other addictions, the problem becomes much worse if the compulsive behavior is taken into excess. Although not all individuals with these problems are addicts, many do have physical dependencies on these objects or activities. Also, addiction can cause significant emotional distress and body image concerns to those agonizing from the dysmorphic disorder.
It is essential for anyone who suffers from dysmorphic disorder to seek treatment for this condition. If left untreated, symptoms of dysmorphic disorder can worsen. This is especially true if an individual tries to treat their body dysmorphic disorder with medications without success. Although dysmorphic disorder is often thought of as a mental disorder or dysmorphic disorder, it’s more of a behavioural condition. This condition can often be treated successfully with the proper focus, patience, and assistance from friends and family.
Deceit in the Mirror
Everybody can point out a fault in their own reflection, and it’s normal for people to develop a continuous feeling that they’re not really up to scratch in some way. Overweight people, for example, maybe peer regarding to their appearance, while people with chronic acne may be aware that their skin has defects that others may see. Although people with BDD (body dysmorphic disorder) may want to concentrate on some aspect of their behavior that distinguishes them from commonly accepted beauty ideals, they might look in a mirror and see the things that others might not do.
One of the most challenging mental health problems a person can have is dealing with their own body dysmorphic disorder and addiction. If you are not ready to face your problems, you may never be able to beat them. This dysmorphic disorder focuses on how other people see or perceive your flaws or imperfections that you become completely overwhelmed by your insecurities. Your coping mechanism is to check yourself in the mirror and reassess your self-image constantly.
They Might Misrepresent by Describing a Part of Their Body with Terms Like “monstrous,” “hideous,” or “deformed,” Such As:
- The nose and eyes are examples of facial characteristics.
These characteristics are so repulsive to people with the dysmorphic disorder that they must be concealed. They can apply makeup several times in an attempt to conceal the flaw. They can comb their hair into different styles attempting to conceal the problem. Clothes, such as gloves and hats, can be put to the test as people attempt to conceal their physique from view. According to a study published in the journal World Psychiatry, people having BDD spends an average of 3-8 hours per day on these habits, and no matter what they do, they do not find relief.
The truth of the matter is that there is help for those with body dysmorphic disorder and addiction. You do not need to put up with it any longer. There are professional counsellors, psychologists, and therapists out there who can help you overcome this problem. If you are currently going through a rough patch with your issues, then now might be the time to look at ways to treat your insecurities.
A Dangerous Solution
Individuals with body dysmorphic disorder might start to rely on highly hazardous drugs hoping for their body improvement, and they might grow addictions in that process. The road to addiction can be similar in most people with the dysmorphic disorder, but the medications people mostly start using during the disease can be somewhat different.
According to Harvard Medical School, men who develop dysmorphic disorder often obsess about their weight and muscular strength. They may become persuaded that they are too small for their age or height, and they may begin to spend many hours in the gym in the hopes of bulking up to a size they believe is acceptable. Unfortunately, the condition prevents these men from ever feeling as though they’ve grown a sufficient amount of muscle, so no matter how hard they try and exercise, they can always feel as though they’re far too tiny. These men can turn to steroids in the hopes of accelerating their workouts and packing on enormous amounts of muscle in a short period of time. Anabolic steroids have been linked to extreme addictions that develop in an extremely short period of time, and people agonizing from BDD can discover this in no time.
Although women can develop symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder related to their muscles, they can also develop fixations with their weight and the size of various parts of their bodies. These women can choose to experiment with and misuse stimulant drugs to reduce hunger and can skip meals without feeling deprived or hungry. Women who want to lose weight due to BDD can discover, however, that stimulants may leave chemical damage behind, even after the individual feels sober and normal again. Chemical harm can lead to compulsive drug use and violence. Women like this may be unable to regulate how much of the medication they take, and they may be unable to avoid using drugs once they have begun.
Unlike many other anxiety disorders, dysmorphic disorder symptoms do not usually require medication or drugs to treat. Treatments aimed at this dysmorphic disorder usually centre on changing the thoughts that cause the symptoms. Individuals who suffer from body dysmorphic disorder are often given cognitive-behavioural therapy and may be required to attend group therapy sessions. In psychotherapy, the individual is encouraged to explore the root causes of the disturbing thoughts and how they affect their lives and relationships. In the treatment of psychotherapy, patients are often encouraged to engage in frequent self-reflection.
People who suffer from dysmorphic disorder find that support from friends and family helps them significantly reduce the severity of the symptoms. When agonizing from BDD, it is helpful for people to develop a support system that includes close friends and family members. This group of people is helpful because they can provide encouragement when necessary and provide an understanding environment. Often support groups for BDD are available online as well. Some online support groups focus on a particular anxiety disorder, and dysmorphic disorder but many support groups can join.
In both cases, mental illness can work as a prompt for drug abuse. When a person’s mental condition starts to affect him or her, he or she may be prompted to pick up a needle, take a pill, or pour a drink. Trying to deal with addiction while leaving the mental disorder alone can result in a relapse, as the urge to use may still be present. Similarly, treating only the dysmorphic disorder while leaving the addiction alone could lead to tragedy, as the individual could ruin their body and destroy the mind as results of the chemical dependency on those drugs. The only way to assist is to provide medication for both the dependency and the mental illness, and the care must be given concurrently by the same recovery team.
Treatment for this dysmorphic disorder can be successful, provided that the individual suffering has the desire to change. Many individuals with this dysmorphic disorder have been depressed or anxious for years without gaining relief. The only way for these individuals to overcome this dysmorphic disorder’s symptoms is to accept that they need help and that they are capable of changing their behaviour. Once individuals decide that they want to tackle this disorder, they must understand that it will take time and effort. Most treatments for this dysmorphic disorder revolve around maintaining a sense of motivation throughout the recovery process.
Dual Diagnosis Assistance
People having dysmorphic disorder are extraordinarily likely to have a drug use and alcohol disorder. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, nearly half of all people with BDD had some type of drug use disorder or dysmorphic disorderat some point in their lives. Even so, it is not a guarantee that a BDD recovery program would also include substance abuse treatment and vice versa. Previously, it was believed that drug abuse problems would go away if the psychiatric condition was changed, and as a result, the illness was often neglected. Experts now know that when a substance abuse problem is present, BDD benefits from a Dual Diagnosis approach.
With the proper treatment, the person with this dysmorphic disorder can improve their lives. These treatments may include counselling. Also, these individuals may have to change their diet and lifestyle. In the long run, treatment can help improve the person’s health and emotional well-being who suffers from dysmorphic disorder. In some instances, treatment can even eliminate the need for medication.
Therapy Sessions for Bdd and Addiction Can Take Many Different Forms, but Therapists Often Consider the Following Approaches to Support Their Clients:
- Putting hypotheses to the test, clients are asked to consider their views regarding their presence in this environment. This often entails combating all-or-nothing thought patterns or the pervasive belief that physical appearance correlates with psychological value.
- Acceptance of thinking People agonizing from the dysmorphic disorder may become so distressed by their thoughts that they are unable to move forward. People are advised to think of their distressing thoughts as clouds passing in front of the sun, in that they can be commented on but cannot be modified and should not be acted upon.
- Identification of the trigger. Dysmorphic disorder thoughts and drug-taking habits are often triggered by particular people, locations, and objects. People may learn to avoid circumstances that cause them to act badly if they recognize the factors that encourage them to do so.
- Exposure has increased. Clients are advised to explain other aspects of their appearance or to walk next to a mirror while looking inside. With each additional exposure, they can discover that their thoughts about their least favorite body part fade.
Medications might also play a role in the treatment of body dysmorphic disorder, as certain antidepressant medications may help to fix chemical effect on the brain, allowing people to move through suicidal thoughts and risky habits without relying on them.
Who is Affected?
Learning about dysmorphic disorder and drug abuse can be disturbing, and some people can become concerned about the people they care about after reading this post. Does a girlfriend’s comment about her hips deserve a BDD diagnosis? Is it possible that a boy who spends time at the gym has a real problem that needs to be addressed? Only trained therapists may answer these questions, but there is hope to be optimistic.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, BDD is relatively uncommon, affecting just about 1% of the population. However, the behaviours associated with body dysmorphic disorder can also be part of the spectrum of illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, or anxiety disorders, which are far more common. When someone’s behaviour seems to be causing them anxiety, and that person appears to be inclined to self-medicate with drugs, it’s often better to be cautious and get the person help.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a clinical diagnosis used to describe people who excessively view their body image as different from how they see others. When the person agonizing from BDD does not have an accurate perception of their appearance, they can be highly self-conscious about their looks. If they had an accurate perception of their appearance, there would be no need for them to be obsessing regarding their appearance. However, when they see themselves as different from others negatively, this causes the dysmorphic disorder.
When patients with body dysmorphic disorder and addiction receive treatment from professionals, they will often find that their cravings for a sure thing deplete over time without the need to use drugs or alcohol. These patients can then go through the rest of their lives without the need to seek comfort from their drug or alcohol of choice. Many will also undergo therapy to figure out why they have a compulsion for a specific thing in the first place.
When patients with body dysmorphic disorder and addiction learn to deal with their disease, they may find that they live a more normal life than those without the dysmorphic disorder. They may feel less self-conscious about how they look, and in some cases, they will become so outgoing that others will recognize them. They may become more comfortable with social settings and begin to make new friends. Some may even find employment and start a career path that they never thought they would be interested in. Others may choose to go back to school to further their education and become educated about the different addiction forms. The more patients with body dysmorphic disorder and addiction deal with their disorder, the more they will learn how to control it better.
If you think that you or a friend or loved one may have this dysmorphic disorder, you may want to consult your doctor to determine if this is an actual condition or just a symptom of another disease. If the doctor determines that the patient has body dysmorphic disorder and addiction, he may prescribe therapy and medication to help treat it. In many cases, these medications help alleviate the cravings that the patient may feel. In some cases, however, the patient may not be able to quit drugs or alcohol independently and will need assistance. There are various support groups available for patients who are struggling to overcome this dysmorphic disorder, and there are many doctors who specialize in treating patients who have overcompensated traits.
Please contact us if you’d like to discuss your choices or learn more about how Dual Diagnosis healthcare could benefit someone you care about. All of our calls are kept fully private, and we have professional professionals on hand to answer your questions about the dysmorphic disorder.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.