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Body Dysmorphic Disorder – Treatment and Home care of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a serious mental illness where a person is preoccupied with an imaginary or minor physical flaw mostly of the skin, hair and nose. A person with BDD has a lot of anxiety and stress and spends a lot of time focusing on the physical flaws. The common body dysmorphic disorder symptoms include depression and eating disorders. If left untreated it can lead to an increased risk of suicide.

Treatment of body dysmorphic disorder
Treatment of BDD can be difficult, especially if a person is not willing for treatment but if a patient is an active participant, then the treatment is successful. The different interventions done include:

Psychotherapy

  • This therapy helps you to learn and understand your feelings, thoughts, mood and behavior.
  • You learn to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy is also followed for a patient suffering from BDD.
  • The patient is allowed to talk about himself/herself without covering up his/her defect.
  • The therapists help the patient to stop the compulsive behaviors.
  • This includes removal of mirrors, not using make-up or covering areas of the skin that the patient picks.
  • The patient is helped to change his/her false beliefs about appearance.

Medications
The drug therapy includes the following:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhbitors lift the mood of the patient and increase the neurotransmitter levels in the brain and reduce the symptoms of BDD.
  • Antidepressants may be administered by the mental health care professional.
  • Anti-psychotic drugs can be prescribed by a psychotherapist.

Hospitalization

  • In a few cases, a patient can be hospitalized if the symptoms are very severe.
  • Psychiatric hospitalization is recommended when you are not able to care for yourself or some one else.
  • A patient can be hospitalized especially when he/she tries to harm others or suffers suicidal tendencies.

Cosmetic Procedures

  • Cosmetic surgeries, dentistry or other approaches do not reduce the distress of a person with body dysmorphic disorder.
  • Cosmetic procedures cannot address the underlying condition but can treat the temporary problems.
  • Psychotherapy is the only treatment that helps a person suffering from BDD.

Life style changes
In some cases, BDD can be cured by following certain treatments at home. These include:

  • Never try to skip therapy sessions even if you don’t feel like going.
  • Take your medications as directed by the mental health professional.
  • Learn about your disorder as this can empower you and motivate you to complete the treatment plan.
  • Physical exercise and activity can help you to manage symptoms like anxiety and stress.
  • Avoid alcohol and illicit drugs that can worsen mental illness.
  • Do not neglect regular checkups, instead get routine medical care.

Coping and Support:
Coping with BDD can be challenging, as it affects many areas of life. Try these tips to cope with body dysmorphic disorder:

  • Participate in normal activities and try to get together with family and friends.
  • Eat a healthy diet and get sufficient sleep.
  • Join a support group so that you can connect with other people suffering from similar challenges.
  • Learn relaxation and stress management techniques.
  • Stay focused and motivated by keeping your recovery goals in mind.
  • Lead a healthy life and focus on recovering soon as this helps you to recover fast.

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