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Think of this blog as a diary preoccupied with getting thin, staying thin and understanding thus sharing pro-ana tips and tricks, thinspiration, fasting, celebrity weight loss secrets, effective diet pills, effective diets, effective exercise equipment and effective exercise dvds? No matter your size or plan and what you plan on doing about that this place will not judge... xo

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Do You Have Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

At one time or another we all worry about our appearance, but when you wake up degrading your nose, hair, chest, WEIGHT, etc. and then continue to have these thoughts all day, that's when there's a problem.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a serious disorder that is growing fast. People that suffer from BDD not only dislike some aspect of how they look, they're preoccupied severely with it. Most get to the point where it's very hard to go outside, sit down comfortably, go to work and/or talk to others without thinking self-degrading thoughts about their flaws. The thoughts soon take over the person's mind and it is all he orshe can think about.
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THE PROBLEM?
They have all of these self-degrading thoughts about a perceived flaw that are distorted many, many times the supposed flaw or the flaw doesn't even exist at all. The perceived "imperfect" is blown entirely out of proportion but a person with BDD can't see that what they believe is distorted. Many hold the belief that they are seeing all of this, therefore it MUST be true. This is one of the main reasons that it is so hard for people on the "outside" to try and convince even the most severely emaciated people with anorexia that they are not fat failures.
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WHO IT AFFECTS?
It's estimated that Body Dysmorphic Disorder affects 1 in 50 people, mostly teenagers and 20-somethings with either a gradual or abrupt onset. Often the person is a perfectionist, like most people with eating disorders. Nothing is good enough because the person cannot see that what they have done is absolutely fine, or that they are on the border of near death (in the case of anorexia and extreme weight loss). Low self-esteem is a trademark of those with BDD as they feel like colossal failures for their perceived physical flaws.
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THE OTHER ISSUES
BDD can lead or take after other psychiatric problems as well. Depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, anxiety issues, agoraphobia, and trichotillomania (hair pulling) are all problems that commonly follow or trigger BDD.
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THE TREATMENT
BDD is usually mis-diagnosed because doctors tend to have a lack of familiarity with the disorder. Many times those afflicted feel so ashamed and worthless that they down-play the problem or do not even recognize that they need help, so they end up staying in hiding. Families may even trivialize this problem, not realizing that this extreme distortion cannot be resolved through "getting over it" or calling it a "phase." However, when you or someone you know is ready to accept help and is willing to get it, there are therapists out there that specialize in treating BDD. Common anti-depressants were also used to help further the treatment. Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, and Anafranil are all common anti-depressants that are used to treat this disorder (as well as depression), and they have all been show to help stop the behaviors associated with BDD.
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THIS IS INTERESTING
One recent study was made where 17 individuals, all diagnosed with BDD, spent 4 weeks of daily 90 minute sessions with therapists. Cognitive behavior therapy was used to treat their conditions. Further treatment for BDD included having them exposed to their perceived physical defect, and they were prevented from engaging in any behaviors that increased the discomfort and triggered the BDD more. In the cognitive behavior therapy the individuals were also taught how to resist compulsive behaviors and face avoided situations. At the end of this study, a significant decrease was found in the individuals' pre-occupations and time spent engaged in destructive behaviors and thoughts.

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