It is rare to meet a person who is thoroughly satisfied with what he sees every time he comes face to face with a mirror. Especially as women, we have a hard time pleasing ourselves completely about our own appearances. While sometimes it is our hair that refuses to get tamed, our bodies refrain from looking shapely on other occasions.
It is natural for people of both sexes to have problems every now and then as such problems motivate us to look our best. When we pay close attention, we might finally realise that the runway style that we have so desperately been trying to fit into just does not suit our style. This, in turn, helps us discover what actually suits us and helps us achieve a happier self-image. Unfortunately, for those suffering from a condition called Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), there is no respite from the negative feelings that flood them about the way they look.
A serious mental illness that has a disturbing number of people in its vicious grip, Body Dysmorphic Disorder has its sufferers battling to differentiate between actual flaws and what they perceive as flaws. The obsession with their bodily flaws (which are often, nonexistent or too minor to be noticed) is so intense that they suffer from a major disconnect between the real and the imaginary.
As a result, a huge majority go to the extent of going under the knife repeatedly. Clinical psychologists are wary of the dangers that plague those afflicted by BDD and their low self-worth. Many cosmetic surgeons the world over are increasingly dissuading BDD patients from opting for surgeries and are instead, suggesting therapy to them.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder is getting to become common among the youth and is a worrying trend. Having gone through 30 surgeries and known for never stepping out without a full face of makeup, legendary Michael Jackson was a sure case of this disorder. Even the stunning Marilyn Monroe, who is still worshipped for her looks 50 years after her death, was known to be obsessed with what she perceived to be her flaws. So was the case with other celebrities like Uma Thurman, Lily Allen and Sarah Michelle Gellar – all examples of popular and beautiful faces that sadly, do not see what the world sees in them.
Though the causes that lead to this condition are largely case-specific, one of the major reasons is peer pressure. Sensitive kids that have been subject to taunts from parents, relatives or friends about their ‘funny nose’ or ‘strange ears’ grow up with major issues on the way they look. In many cases, this begins with self loathing and a setting in of inadequacy complex that eventually leads to BDD. Is there a way out? A loving someone who can spot this and reinforce the sufferer with the Real!