Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Addiction

Body Dysmorphic Disorder and AddictionBody dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a disorder in which a person is preoccupied with an imagined defect or fault with his or her body. While that defect is not truly present or is minimal, the person with BDD is highly distressed about it. Commonly, those with BDD focus on perceived skin imperfections, areas of body fat, or facial features. For those with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), the preoccupation with a perceived physical defect can lead to impairment of daily functioning. The distress from this imagined defect leads many to get plastic surgery as a way to fix the problem. However, plastic surgery rarely rids people of BDD, and an addiction to plastic surgery, pain medication, or other substances may develop.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Plastic Surgery Addiction

In order to overcome the preoccupation with a certain bodily defect, many with BDD utilize techniques to correct the perceived fault. This often begins with makeup or dieting, but may quickly develop into more extreme techniques. In desperation, an alarming percentage of those with BDD use plastic surgery as a way to fix their problems.

After the initial fulfillment from the first plastic surgery, though, a person suffering from BDD often continues to feel dissatisfied with his or her image. Some individuals may approve of the change, yet still feel like more work needs to be done on the same area. Others become preoccupied then with a different area of fault. In many cases, this leads them back to the operating table to have more plastic surgery performed. Unfortunately, due to this cycle of fulfillment and dissatisfaction, plastic surgery addiction develops in a large number of those with BDD.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Substance Addiction

In most cases, those with BDD also battle an overall low self-esteem. Personal dissatisfaction and a lack of confidence can lead those with low self-esteem to abuse substances. Too frequently, drugs and alcohol become the outlets for those with low self-esteem to release inner emotional pain. Substances are abused as a means of coping with these issues, serving as an emotional distraction. In other cases, those with BDD and low self-esteem may abuse substances in order gain a fake confidence in themselves. This often occurs in a social setting as a means to overcome embarrassment about the way they look.

Ultimately, substance abuse can lead to addiction, which plays its own negative role in self-esteem. While drug or alcohol addiction may not lead a person to become more critical of his or her body, it effectively leads to destruction of other areas of self-worth.

Get Help for Body Dysmorphic Disorder or Addiction

Those suffering from BDD or addiction may be hesitant to seek treatment. However, by utilizing available resources, many people overcome these disorders and regain their lives. If you or a loved one suffers from BDD or addiction, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatments for these disorders.