In our appearance-obsessed society, sometimes it seems like we all have a touch of Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
Everybody has some body part or physical characteristic that we obsess over, right? Some people hate their nose, other people are convinced they have Dumbo-sized ears. Most people spend an inordinate amount of time at the gym trying to change their overall shape.
But Body Dysmorphic Disorder is different, and devastatingly so: According to recent findings, "more than 75 percent of people with BDD feel life is not worth living or think about suicide in their lifetime, and approximately 25 percent have a history of a suicide attempt.”
And that's not all.
People suffering from BDD are prone to a variety of physically painful behaviors. Among the most common: Excessive dieting, cosmetic surgery, compulsive skin picking, and physical self-mutilation. When researchers examined the association of suicide attempts which each of these behaviors, they found that excessive dieting was linked with more than double the number of suicide attempts.
Which is pretty scary. Which came first, the excessive dieting or the suicidal tendencies?
Experts aren't entirely sure yet, but theorize that "those who are capable of enduring such physical discomfort and pain from restrictive eating also may be capable of enduring the physical discomfort required to inflict self-harm.”
Yikes. As with just about anything, the key to treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder is to diagnose the condition as early as possible ... so if you recognize any of these behaviors in yourself or anyone you know, don't hesitate to get help!
Did you know Body Dysmorphic Disorder could be so dangerous?
Image via davidd/Flickr