That Pressure For Perfection: How to Help Men With Body Dysmorphia
In a society that is obsessed with image, it’s easy to focus on women who are suffering from low self-esteem. We often think of women when we hear “anorexia” or any other type of eating disorder and have many resources and information available on helping them. However, we often forget or neglect to think about the men in our culture who are suffering from an unhealthy body image and need the same kind of help.
What is Body Dysmorphia?
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a far too common mental illness that many people are unaware of and about five million Americans suffer with. It’s a condition where an individual not only dislikes themselves, but only see a distorted and inaccurate reflection. They often refuse to be in pictures and are obsessed with analyzing every inch of their facial and body features, and some people go to extensive lengths to try and “fix” their image with makeup or cosmetic surgery. Although it’s normal for people to dislike their teeth or perhaps their big ears, BDD causes people to analyze and hate every part of their body. Other symptoms include obsessive compulsive disorder, showering several times a day, and spending hours in front of the mirror. They speak obsessively about their image and how they want to change their nose, lips, or even eyes. But how do we help men with this disease?
Men who are suffering from body dysmorphic disorder should be provided professional therapy immediately. They can talk to a doctor and receive cognitive-behavior therapy which will teach them to learn how to change how they think and learn how to have a healthier mindset with different techniques. They can also go on antidepressant medication, which will give them more peace of mind and can relieve the symptoms they feel on a day-to-day basis.
Other Forms of Treatment
Another way men can receive help is by going to a local rehabilitation center that can provide proper support and medication in a professional environment. They’ll be provided special treatment that can either be inpatient or outpatient, depending on the case. Rehabilitation clinics also offer individual and group psychotherapy during treatment for proper social support. With the help of psychotherapy and proper medication, men can begin their road to recovery and have a healthier mindset with their self-image.
If you suspect a man you know is suffering from body dysmorphic disorder, make sure he has the resources and help available to get the help he needs.
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