Okay so here is a summary of all I have learned….and I am going to highlight specific aspects and explain why….but if you want to understand this disorder even more there are lots of great resources out there. And I will give you the the whole MIND, BODY, SOUL….connects at the end of this post. But for now…..
(follow the above link to get the full details….but below is a summary)
A type of chronic mental illness. The individual has a perceived flaw that is either minor or totally imagined. The point is they obsess over it. They obsess over appearance and body image for hours a day. This obsession impacts daily decisions. There is never a satisfaction with their body. They seek procedures: minor or major, to “fix” these flaws. They may lean on excessive exercise.
Just some of the symptoms…
preoccupied by appearance
frequent examination of self in mirror or avoid mirrors
believe others notice you in a negative way
avoid social situations
compares self to others
don’t want to be in pictures
obsess over specific body parts: face, hair, skin, breasts, muscles…etc
Brain differences (structure or neuro-chemistry)
Genes – more common in a person who has a family member who has this condition.
Environment – life experiences, culture
This is just a short, very slimmed down explanation….
Some of the factors that increase risk of developing or triggering condition include:
relatives with disorder
life experiences: childhood teasing, trauma
societal pressures or expectations
having another mental disorder such as anxiety or depression.
***Dysmorphia usually starts in adolescents and it affects men and women.
Why does this all matter to me?
I see more and more young women being bombarded by social media’s imagery of what a woman “looks like”….and how we “should” look like!
Even though we KNOW that there is airbrushing involved…there is some extreme things that are done…..and that the magazines, movies, shows, commercials….represent a very small percentage of the population….we are talking like less than 10%.
I recently read/heard that genetically speaking…there is only 1% of women who come by thigh gap naturally….born with it.
YET WE ARE OBSESSED WITH IT….all others who obtain in….do it at great costs…..
And further it is destroying the self-esteem and self-image in our young girls!
Which brings me back to Dysmorphic Disorder!
It is real…it has ranges, just like many other mental disorders. Just like a person who may manage many other mental disorders, or a person who compensates with other mental “handicaps” of sorts….
Thus a person can have more severe cases than others….some may not have bouts come on all the time or infrequent. Yet it is always there in the background. It is how a young girl nurtures herself, and manages her daily stresses, daily influences that will make all the difference in my opinion.
Things that can help a young lady is to be in tuned with herself and admit when she needs help.
She needs to ask herself: how can I help myself? Do I need to seek treatment? Or is this something I can manage with the help of a great confidant or support system?
Lifestyle/home remedies that can help:
Taking supplements/herbs that support the serotonin levels.
Learn more about the condition.
Pay attention to warning signs.
Avoid situations, even people that my trigger bad self talk.
Avoid: food, alcohol, drugs….substances that are going not support a nurturing mindset.
BE ACTIVE. Yoga, walks, sprints, HIIT….are all great ways to keep the mind clear.
Other ways to support yourself/cope:
Write in a journal.
Don’t isolate yourself.
Read self-help books.
Join support groups.
Stay focused on goals.
Learn relaxation/stress management.
Don’t make important decisions when feeling despair/distress.
Prevention may not be possible but identifying if you are at risk and learning to truly love yourself early on can help.
Here are some great articles/self help/resources…
to love self better:
ARMOR YOUR DYNAMIC DAUGHTER WITH FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE….TO FEED HER MIND, BODY, AND SOUL….TO BECOME THE WONDERFUL WARRIOR WOMAN….SHE IS DESTINED TO BE!
hugs, prayers, and lots of blessings,