Body Dysmorphia in teens

Understanding Body Dysmorphia in teens

One time in life that almost everyone can agree to being very difficult is teenage. Puberty does not come easy to all. So, not only does one have to contend with the bodily changes, but then there is also the matter of fluctuating hormones as well.

Teenage is also difficult because of the peer pressure as well. During this age, children are more vulnerable and easily affected by the opinions of others. Peer pressure, when combined with bullying, can present as a great challenge for teens.

One of the greatest sources of stress in a teenager’s life is their appearance, especially if they are girl. While feeling conscious about the way they look is common across almost all teenagers, but some go on to develop body dysmorphic disorder, a serious condition that may require diagnosis from an expert like the Best Pediatrician in Lahore.

What is body dysmorphic disorder?

Body dysmorphic disorder is a condition in which the person becomes obsessed over their physical appearance. They spend at least an hour of their day thinking about their appearance; whether it be flaws for real or those imagined.

Alongside thinking they have appearance defects, BDD also causes people to experience a lot of stress due to their physical defects. BDD is therefore considered to be a disorder of the mental health.

In extreme cases, teenagers with BDD can also go on to develop eating disorders as well. Some get so dissatisfied with their own being, that it leads to suicidal thoughts.

What are the symptoms of body dysmorphia?

Since the stakes run high, it is imperative that parents and caregivers be cognizant of the signs of body dysmorphia. However, it is important to note that not every case will be following the textbook symptoms; as they signs are on a spectrum, therefore, it is harder for to notice. But some salient ones include:

Changes in behavior

While teenagers can be expected to have changes in behaviors, those with BDD have a greater chance for it. Generally, the change can be considered rather dramatic.

Changes in relationship with food

Another sign is the changed relationship your child has with food. They either start to eat more or eat less. They also might change their dietary preferences as well.

Dissatisfaction with their looks

The principal element of BDD is dissatisfaction with looks and perception of flaws. So, teenagers start to feel upset with the way that they look.

Focus on appearance

The heightened focus on appearance is another sign to be alarmed about. Girls might start wearing more makeup, boys might start visiting the gym more often. In either case, there is an increase in fixation over the physical appearance.

Moreover, it is not just about them feeling more conscious about the way that they look, but they become preoccupied with it. They might stop to check their looks, visit the loo constantly to look at the mirror or confirming their appearance on their phone’s camera, etc.

Mood problems

BDD can also cause mood problems. In severe cases, it can also lead to anger and violence.

Mental health issues

As BDD causes a severe toll on the minds of the teenagers, they therefore are also more likely to get face mental health issues. Common problems include stress, depression, and anxiety.

Furthermore, BDD can also be linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder. In OCD, people experience obsessive thoughts that cause them stress. And to remedy those, they follow through with compulsive behaviors.

While the exact OCD symptoms will vary as per the type, but your hackles should be raised if your child is compulsively doing something like washing their hand, exercising, changing clothes, etc.

Hiding from others

Since they consider themselves to be rather ugly, they then might hide at home, trying to stay clear from others.

 Getting help for BDD

If you notice such signs in your teenager, it helps to confirm from their child specialist in Maroof International Hospital. If they are diagnosed with BDD, their condition can improve by medication and therapy, but getting them timely help is key.