Around 2% of the world’s population is reported to suffer from dysmorphophobia, a disorder characterized by obsession and excessive thoughts about an “imaginary defect” in the body or face of the person suffering from it.
Like eating disorders, and often correlated with them, dysmorphophobia causes severe stress, isolation and other obsessive-compulsive disorders, including hygiene disorders.
Men, women, teenagers or adults, everyone can be affected by this pathology, and all parts of the body can be the object of obsession: legs, stomach, face, nose, etc…
A very time-consuming pathology, dysmophophobic patients can spend long hours inspecting themselves or trying to hide their “defects”.
What symptoms and diagnostic criteria?
A source of shame and a deep conviction that they are ugly or deformed, people who suffer do not measure the pathological nature of their suffering. They therefore rarely consult for this discomfort, and are poorly and poorly diagnosed.
The signs that can alert are as follows:
- a sense of ugliness and obsession and an overwhelming concern for a part of the body considered out of the ordinary,
- an important time to examine this part of the body, or on the contrary, the eviction of mirrors,
- hiding the missing part of the body (loose clothing, wearing a hat, scarf, gloves, etc.),
- the use of cosmetic surgery,
- social withdrawal and isolation,
- depressive feelings
How to be treated?
To treat dysmorphophobia, it is advisable to start treatment with a psychiatrist or health professional specializing in cognitive behavioral psychotherapy (CBT).
A drug treatment, in particular via antidepressant, can also be implemented.
Do you suffer or have suffered from dismorphophobia and want to share your experiences? Feel free to leave a comment or contact us to testify.