What Exactly Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

What Exactly Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

Today, you don’t need to be photoshopped for a magazine or airbrushed for a billboard to alter your appearance—with digital photo filters and editing apps, a new face is just one click away. So, experts are asking what effects that can have on people with BDD, a condition in which people think there’s something wrong with their physical appearance.

» Subscribe to Seeker! http://bit.ly/subscribeseeker
(then hit the little 🔔 icon and select “all.”)
» Watch more Body Language! http://bit.ly/BodyLanguagePlaylist
» Visit our shop at http://shop.seeker.com

You can completely alter your online image from the one staring back at you in the mirror. But that disconnect, the gap between real flesh and blood human to modified, idealized online persona, is starting to have an effect on how we see ourselves.

And researchers are asking more questions about what these digital manipulations are doing to our perception of our bodies and self-image IRL. A growing number of studies show that social media can have a measurable negative impact on body image and self esteem.

Some studies suggest that scrolling through altered photos, videos, and filters on social media feeds has also been found to be a trigger for more serious mental health conditions like anorexia, bulimia and body dysmorphic disorder.

Body dysmorphic disorder, BDD, is a condition in which people think there’s something very wrong with their physical appearance. People with BDD obsess about these perceived imperfections. It’s not just a fleeting thought, or a few minutes a day. They think about it and worry about it a lot, typically between three and eight hours a day.

And unfortunately, there’ve only been a handful of nationwide studies into how common BDD is in the general population. But these early studies reveal startling numbers–it’s estimated that BDD affects close to 2 to 3 percent of the population, that’s somewhere between 5 to 10 million people in the U.S. alone.

#womenshealth #BDD #bodydysmorphicdisorder #wellness #seeker


Read more:
The complicated truth about social media and body image
That being said, using social media does appear to be correlated with body image concerns. A systematic review of 20 papers published in 2016 found that photo-based activities, like scrolling through Instagram or posting pictures of yourself, were a particular problem when it came to negative thoughts about your body.

Conformity to masculine norms and symptom severity among men diagnosed with muscle dysmorphia vs. body dysmorphic disorder
One BDD subtype is muscle dysmorphia (MD). There are limited data on the prevalence of MD; however, one study found 22% of men diagnosed with BDD met criteria for MD [9]. MD is described as a preoccupation with the thought that one is not muscular enough, coupled with a pervasive fear of muscle loss [8].

Isolation, Zoom calls amid coronavirus worsen body dysmorphic disorder symptoms for some
Amal and Joseph’s shared diagnosis also foregrounds what is perhaps one of the most misunderstood aspects of BDD: It is a spectrum disorder, meaning that although people who experience it can share feelings of shame, self-loathing and emotional distress over nonexistent or minimal defects, their BDD can manifest to different degrees.

Editor’s Note: At Seeker, we recognized that people of many genders and identities have vaginas and uteruses, and are affected by the topics that fall into women’s health. For this episode, we interviewed experts who generally referred to people with vaginas and uteruses as women.

Body Language is Seeker’s latest series diving into the world of women’s health, and their bodies. For so long, the medical field only used men to conduct research, creating a gap in terms of what we know about women’s bodies. So in this series, we’ll be talking to experts to get a better understanding of some of these issues, and what we actually know about them. So join us as we discover how incredibly cool the female body is and how much more we still have to learn about it.


Like it? Share with your friends!


What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
confused confused
fail fail
fun fun
geeky geeky
love love
lol lol
omg omg
win win


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Content Warning: This video discusses mental health and body image issues, briefly mentioning suicide. These topics may be difficult for some viewers.

  2. for the "origin" part i think you can add parents that self devaluate themselfs when you're young, typically the mom that says "i'm too fat, look at this", it's as toxic as photoshoped ads if not more

  3. Bdd is dangerous, I have spent nearly 4 yrs in my house bcoz of bdd,, it can cause serious isolation issues, depression, anxiety and lack of will of live, this is the worst really bcoz how to face the problems with the face like this, that's all I think

  4. SSRI are some of the worst things one can do to our bodies. It should be the absolute last resort. Come on Seeker.. do a bit more research. Exercise works just as well as SSRI , look it up…

  5. The way I think about it is that, if I'm using a filter, so is everybody else.

    People aren't born with rainbow color eyelids and blood red lips. That's like a filter we use in real life, as we do filters on our phone. Digital makeup is just another method of self expression.

    Expression of your 'self' is the beauty everyone has a hard time accepting in themselves, because they fear the opinions of others.

    Be you, be beautiful <3

  6. Off topic but close enough….I realized when I had Facebook or Instagram that trying to compare my life to the life of others especially the more successful was depressing. I would always wonder why I couldn't live a life like that and that would upset me or make me sad and or depressed. Long story short after I got rid of social media I realized I'm a lot happier. Social media is a very toxic place except for the select few who actually make a living on the platform and even then the successful people on the platforms usually received lots of hate from people with jealous of them.

  7. Seems like 90% are these Vane outward superficial people that cake on a face every day. Their first impression being the LIE.
    I wear tshirts with holes and look like crap because I want those people as far away from me as possible.

  8. Okay why is the white girl, talking about her experience of being unhappy with her image portrayed as a black woman that is then turning into a lizard??? The interviewee is white characterize the image to reflect the person….. that wasn’t a really smart idea.