Kim Kardashian said on ‘KUWTK’ that she suffers from body dysmorphia, a serious mental illness that completely damages a person’s perception of their appearance. Learn more about the condition here.
1. Body Dysmorphia is a body image disorder
Body Dysmorphic Disorder is characterized by “by persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one’s appearance,” according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Those who suffer from the disorder believe they have terrible flaws, and obsess over them for hours each day. They cannot control these negative thoughts, and don’t believe it when people tell them they look fine. Those thoughts cause severe emotional distress and impact their daily lives.
Because of their BDD, they’ll cover up the flawed area, and even avoid going to work, school, or social functions; they’ll isolate themselves because they’re afraid someone will notice their flaws. In some cases, BDD sufferers undergo plastic surgery to correct what they believe are flaws — and afterward, they’re convinced it didn’t work. Kim Kardashian, 36, confessed on a recent episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians that she has the disorder while upset about unedited photos paparazzi took of her on the beach in a bikini.
“You take pictures and people just body shame you,” Kim told her sisters. “It’s like literally giving me body dysmorphia.” It’s unclear if she actually suffers from the mental illness, or is just using the term to describe her low self esteem after people were cruel about her cellulite. Experts say that BDD doesn’t appear from specific incidents, but is a condition that manifests itself, like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Still, we should not discredit Kim’s assertion that she’s suffering from the illness.
2. It manifests similarly to OCD
Sometimes, body dysmorphia is misdiagnosed as OCD because of the similar symptoms — obsession and intrusive thoughts. But BDD is strictly about body image. “Avoiding social situations in BDD may be due to shame or embarrassment of one’s physical appearance and is similar to the behavior of some people with social anxiety disorder,” says the ADAA.
3. It most commonly manifests in adolescents and teens
BDD affects men and women almost equally (2.5% males, 2.2% females in the United States). It most often develops in kids and teenagers. In the United States, it affects about 1 in 50 people — about 5 million to 7.5 million people.
4. People with BDD can also suffer from other mental health disorders
BDD is sometimes linked to other anxiety disorders, including OCD. Those who have body dysmorphia may also have social anxiety, depression, or eating disorders.
BDD isn’t self-diagnosed, but if you fear that you have the disorder, you should consult a doctor immediately. After determining you have the condition, a doctor may recommend one (or several) of the following treatments: cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressants, lncluding SSRIs.
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked that Kim may suffer from body dysmorphia? Let us know.