BDD causes people to be strongly fixate on their appearance and body image. There are a few habits that people with BDD do or symptoms that shows a person may have BDD. Such habits involve constantly checking the mirror and grooming themselves, seeking for people’s opinion on how they look (now and again, for a long time every day), covering their flaws, skin-picking, etc. But most of the time, people with BDD often keep their obsession a secret as it is something shameful and they are cautious of how people view them. The person’s perceived defect and the continual practices and habits the person does causes stress, and effect their capacity to work in day by day life. BDD does not only affect a person emotionally but also physically. Individuals may search out various cosmetic operation to attempt to “settle” their perceived imperfection. A while later, a person may feel a slight fulfillment, however frequently the anxiety returns and they may go back to hunting down an approach to fix their perceived flaw. There are several things that are correlated to BDD or may be the cause of the disorder which are depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. BDD likely has to do with brain differences, genes, abuse and peer pressure.A hypothesis from Mayo Clinic, suggests that there are issues with specific synapses (synthetic concoctions that assist nerve cells in the brain send messages to one another) which causes a person to be dignosed with the mental illness. BDD is similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder which is an anxiety disorder of people with recurring negative thoughts and obsessions that takes over their mind and body. When a person is obsessively worried about their features and body shape, the thoughts causes the person critical uneasiness and they will frequently spend a few hours daily reasoning about the areas or parts of concern. This disorder may lead to an addiction to suicide ideation and cosmetic surgery. In a research by Phillips, K.A (2007), 80% of individuals with body dysmorphic disorder experience lifetime suicidal thoughts and about 26% have attempted suicide according to recent estimates. Around 45%-70% of patients with history of suicide ideation are diagnosed with BDD or have the disorder to be the primary cause of it. BDD is an unmistakable contraindication to cosmetic procedures and surgeries.
Bouman et al. (2017) led an online study where he reported that two-third of dermatologic surgeons reviewed BDD as a sign that someone should not continue undergoing cosmetic procedures as it is a psychological disorder and going through surgery will not make a difference in improving the patient’s view of themselves. This mental disorder should instead be treated before patients undergo surgery as to prevent dangerous consequences. It was reported that patients may resort to be violent against the surgeon that have cause them to look worse or their flaws become more prominent after surgery. Patients may go to the extent of filing a lawsuit, starting a physical fight and some may go to the extreme like murder.
A study stated that 40% of plastic surgeons reported that they have been threatened by a patient diagnosed with BDD. This suggests that the cosmetic surgery industries have to be more conscientious as to who they consider for treatment. Due to the danger and high risk of surgeons treating a patient with BDD, doctors are now looking out for certain factors that will determine if the cause of returning patients are due to the mental illness. One of the most distinct behaviors is being really unhappy with the results after surgery. Besides that, patients with BDD may have unrealistic expectations and believe very strongly that the surgery would change their social and work life. Patients also may abruptly notice another flaw that would lead them to going through another procedure after just finishing one.
Plastic and Cosmetic surgeons play a huge role in the prevention of cosmetic surgery addiction and have to be responsible by looking out for patients with this disorder before they can proceed with the surgery. It may be challenging to identify whether or not someone has BDD but these individuals tend to have an unusually great direct of attention to their physical appearance and are just displeased with how they look like with no particularly firm reason. Before carrying out the surgery, plastic and cosmetic surgeons also have to ask patients questions to fully understand the purpose and reason as to why the surgery is necessary. By asking questions on how much their flaws bother them, how much they want to get it fixed and whether or not they have done a surgery previously on the same area or feature, it is more clearly for patients with BDD to be identified. These patients have to consult a psychiatrist as BDD is a very serious mental disorder that is likely to lead or be caused by another psychiatric disorder.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder may not sound familiar to many but a surprisingly huge amount of people is diagnosed with this condition. A few of them being great superstars and celebrities. One of the top 15th rated “Sexiest Men Alive” Robert Pattison, also famous for his role in the movie “Twilight”, had suffered from anxiety and BDD. He claims to have low self-esteem and he never had a lean body thus, caused him to be insecure. Robert also said that he would rather party and get drunk then exercising.