You might be wondering about my sudden drop off from appearance-related issues to social anxiety issues. I would like to note that the benefit of only having a few followers is that no one calls you out for veering slightly off course. To those of you who are reading, thank you and I hope that I can renew your faith in the subject matter of this blog today and tomorrow.
Have you ever heard of Body Dysmorphic Disorder? Probably not. There has not been much research on BDD even though it is more common than anorexia and schizophrenia. In fact, I could only find one book in our library on the subject – The Broken Mirror by Dr. Katharin Phillips. She herself was astounded at the lack of knowledge and research on BDD and decided to undertake the enormous task herself. Even if you don’t know anyone with BDD, it is an interesting read. A friend came over a few weeks ago, picked up the book and was soon engrossed with its pages. This is not a cumbersome textbook. It is a very interesting, patient-based book.
Today I am just wetting your appetite on the subject. I would encourage you to watch the informational YouTube video above from Dr. Jaime Feusner, the Director of the OCD Treatment program at UCLA. However, if you want a more interesting, though less informative video, check this one out. I would have posted it on here, but it has an unusual starting thumbnail that I did not think was, how shall I say it, appropriate? And now everyone is going to go look for the thumbnail. I will leave you to that.
Here is a quote from the summary of Dr. Phillip’s book:
“BDD causes sufferers to be obsessed by perceived flaws in their appearance and may afflict as much as two percent of the population, or nearly five million people. Many sufferers are able to function well in society, but remain secretly obsessed by their “hideous acne” or “horrible nose,” sneaking constant peeks at a pocket mirror, or spending hours at a time redoing makeup. Others find their lives disintegrate because of their appearance obsessions. It is not an uncommon disorder, simply a hidden one, since sufferers are often embarrassed to tell even their closest friends about their concerns. The author presents the stories and interviews of over 200 individuals to show the many different behaviors and symptoms of BDD, and includes a quick self-assessment questionnaire. Four new chapters provide updated information on treatment of BDD, frequently obtained treatments to be avoided, and more detailed advice for family members and friends on how to cope with the disorder.
Left untreated, the torment of BDD can lead to psychiatric hospitalization and sometimes suicide. With treatment, many sufferers are able to lead normal lives.The Broken Mirror is literally a lifesaving handbook for sufferers, their families, and their doctors.”