Expert warns of dangers of body dysmorphic disorder

Expert warns of dangers of body dysmorphic disorder as we gear up to look good this summer
TVNZ One News 5 December 2018
Family First Comment: An interesting contrast to the way society approaches disorders.
“In extreme cases they even do DIY plastic surgery. Things like stapling their skin, filing their own teeth and deliberately getting into a car accident to break a bone so that they can reset the bone in their face.”
It’s very sad – it denies reality – and it’s a disorder.
The solution? Not a scalpel and hormone treatment. Counselling and support.
Not an identity and a lobby group, like gender identity disorder.

With summer upon us it’s not uncommon to become more aware of your body image and physical appearance, but body dysmorphic disorder turns one person’s passing thought about a flaw into an all consuming nightmare.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a type of anxiety disorder, related to how we think about our bodies.

Today psychologist Dougal Sutherland spoke with TVNZ’s Breakfast about the dangers of the condition.

“Everybody has those moments and thinks do I look alright, but people with body dysmorphic disorder, this becomes a preoccupation,” he says.

People with the disorder stay focused on their negative thoughts, and think that even a small or invisible body imperfection is bigger than what it is, causing emotional distress.

People with body dysmorphic disorder can spend three to five hours a day in the mirror looking and comparing themselves to others and trying to do something about their appearance.