Body dysmorphic disorder

Signs you might be suffering from body dysmorphic disorder

Zintle Nkohla - 10.06.2021

Body dysmorphic disorder is a thing, and it’s more common than you can imagine.


Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health condition in which a person obsesses over their physical appearance and is fixated on their flaws. They might avoid social situations or taking photos of themselves. The way they perceive themselves is often exaggerated.

An online survey conducted by the Mental Health Foundation with YouGov in March 2019 in the UK showed that one in five adults were ashamed about their body image, and over one-third felt disgusted with their body. 37 % of teenagers felt upset about their body image. And 13 % had suicidal thoughts because of their body image.

Symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  1. You avoid social situations
  2. Constantly criticising your body shape or other people
  3. Engage in excessive exercise
  4. An extreme fear of becoming ‘fat’
  5. Extreme guilt after eating
  6. Wearing clothes that hide shape
  7. Extreme consciousness about your appearance
  8. Excessive grooming
  9. Feelings of anxiety
  10. Extreme low self-esteem

Who do body image issues affect?

First and foremost, one has to be diagnosed with the mental disorder. However, a lot of people have body image issues. In the end, people feel the need to alter their appearance or alter some of their perceived flaws through surgery and other methods. We can see this in the media where a lot of celebrities and well-known people opt for plastic surgery. Celebrities are people who are always in the eye of the public and are put on a pedestal. In the eye of the public, they ‘must’ be perfect.

One of the most popular methods of surgery is liposuction. Fat is taken from one area of the body and injected into another. In 2014 there was 86 % buttock augmentation in the USA. One of the most popular celebrities to have undergone the procedure is Kim Kardashian.

Other cosmetic surgery procedures

  • Rhinoplasty (nose reshaping/nose job)
  • Breast reduction or enlargement
  • Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
  • Otoplasty (ear surgery)
  • Skin lightening