An introduction to body dysmorphia

Next week will focus on the effects of body image on mental health

Mental Health Awareness Week is fast approaching. This year’s theme is body image, where the focus will be on people’s physical appearances and the way everyone sees themselves.

Many people all over the country suffer from mental issues related to their appearance. This includes a condition known as body dysmorphia, where a person will spend a lot of time worrying about even the smallest flaws of their body.

According to the NHS, people suffering from body dysmorphia tend to:

  •      worry about specific areas of their body – in particular, their face
  •      compare themselves with others 
  •      look into mirrors frequently 
  •      try to conceal any imperfections, usually by using make-up
  •      frequently weigh themselves 

Body dysmorphia is, unfortunately, a condition we still don’t know much about. There are many different theories suggesting what can cause it, such as inheriting it from a parent or suffering a traumatic experience. 

Help is available for those sufferers of body dysmorphia, such as through phone call or by visiting a doctor. However, many people find attending support groups to be really useful. 

If you, or someone you know, may be suffering from body dysmorphia there are plenty of organisations to contact, including Anxiety UK, Mind and OCD UK.