Why people battling dysmorphia are not always aware –Psychiatrist

Amarachi Okeh

A Consultant Psychiatrist at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Dr. Dapo Adegbaju has said that people who suffer from body dysmorphia do not always know that they are battling a mental challenge.

According to the psychiatrist, most patients with dysmorphia do not know much about the condition.

Body dysmorphic disorder or body dysmorphia, the psychiatrist said, is when someone has an obsessive focus on the way they look.

According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, body dysmorphia is a mental condition where a person spends time worrying about flaws in their appearance.

NHS, however, added that having BDD does not mean that one is vain or self-obsessed.

Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise, the psychiatrist said, “the person that has body dysmorphia might not know unless the person has an insight.

“The majority of them don’t have insight. It is more or less other people around them that will more or less tell them by saying, ‘look, this thing is becoming something else, why don’t you seek help?’ The majority of them do not see it that way.”

According to Adegbaju, before a case can be termed as body dysmorphia, it must first be obsessive.

“The thought of your body not being perfect is always there to the extent that it takes over practically the thinking of that person that no matter what other people are saying, the person does not think so.

“Such people usually have a negative attitude and they have low self-esteem.

“It is until they satisfy their thinking that is when the obsession actually starts dwindling but research has shown that more often than not, such people are often not satisfied because there will be something they feel is not perfect so they keep on doing it over and over again,” Adegbaju said.

The psychiatrist, who noted that body dysmorphia is common in women.

Some of the symptoms of body dysmorphia, according to the NHS are: worrying about a particular area of the body, spending time comparing one’s looks with that of others, looking at one’s self in the mirror or not at all, etc.

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