Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Hair loss is the second most common issue for patients
In recent years, more attention has been paid to Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) also known as Body Dysmorphia. This illness was once largely ignored by the public and was commonly lumped in with generalized anxiety and other mental issues, but scientists have recently begun to recognize the specific symptoms and traits associated with BDD.
People who suffer from BDD are often extremely insecure about their appearance and are often preoccupied with perceived physical flaws. In many cases, this anxiety is caused by a pre-existing physical condition, but in some cases, the issues may be imaginary. BDD can be a crippling condition that can lead to even more extreme anxiety and depression and often affects the individual in their personal lives and at work.
Individuals who suffer from body dysmorphia often report that concerns about their hair and hair loss are a major trigger for the illness. Receding hairlines, thinning hair, and the common baldness patterns can have a pronounced effect on anyone’s life and their self-esteem, but for individuals suffering from BDD, it can be much more serious and anxiety-inducing. Individuals who suffer from BDD often report experiencing:
- Extreme self-consciousness
- Fixation on a specific flaw or set of flaws
- Referential thinking, “they are all making fun of how I look”
- Impulse control issues
- Appearance comparison – constant comparison of oneself to others
- Safety-seeking – looking to escape social situations in which the individual feels self-conscious
Like many other forms of mental illness, BDD can often be treated by a doctor. Therapy, medical treatment, and a commitment to staying healthy can help individuals who are affected by this disorder. In some cases, hair loss treatment can help alleviate the stress and self-consciousness associated with body dysmorphia. If you suffer from body dysmorphia, or if you know someone who does, there are treatments out there that can assist with this disorder. We have included links to some helpful resources below in the hopes that you can learn more about BDD, the symptoms, and how it is treated:
Psychology Today – “10 Faulty Thoughts That Occur in Body Dysmorphic Disorder”
Mayo Clinic – “Body Dysmorphic Disorder – Symptoms and Causes”
Mental Health America – “Eight Things You Should Know about Body Dysmorphic Disorder”