How Body Dysmorphic Disorder Impacts Your Mental Health

A person with body dysmorphic disorder obsesses over one or more perceived flaws in their appearance, even if they are small or invisible to others.

Sushmita Sharma
Written by: Sushmita SharmaUpdated at: Feb 07, 2023 11:37 IST
How Body Dysmorphic Disorder Impacts Your Mental Health

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Do you look in the mirror and tend to notice only your flaws? Are you disturbed, worried, or insecure about your appearance? It is normal to dislike your facial or bodily features, but when you constantly think about it, and if it affects your daily life, it can be the sign of a health issue. This may indicate a mental health condition called body dysmorphia.

A person with body dysmorphic disorder obsesses over one or more supposed flaws in their appearance, even if they are small or invisible to others. You tend to focus only on your appearance and often end up checking the mirror most of the time or seeking reassurance. This affects your life in many ways, and the constant negative thoughts may even turn suicidal. It mostly occurs in teens and early adults and is a condition that needs to be addressed immediately. 

Symptoms Of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  • You may spend most of your time thinking about that one flaw which may seem minor or invisible to others.
  • You tend to feel ugly because of your flaws and often compare yourself with others. 
  • You believe that people make fun of your appearance.
  • You tend to repeatedly look at mirrors to check yourself or engage in excess grooming. 
  • You may be constantly dieting or end up overexercising.
  • You might feel so humiliated, ashamed, and uneasy that you avoid engaging in many social situations or gatherings.
  • You may have suicidal thoughts due to your appearance.

Effects Of Body Dysmorphic Disorder On Your Health

  • You will have low self-esteem that directly impacts your daily activities
  • It may lead to social isolation or social anxiety disorder
  • You may suffer from anxiety, depression or mood disorders
  • It may lead to suicidal thoughts, which may be very dangerous. You may even harm yourself
  • You may experience obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • You may develop eating disorders
  • You may engage in substance misuse
  • You avoid looking at yourself in the mirror and taking pictures. 

Mental Well Being

  • Improving your mental health can help to ease complications caused due to body dysmorphic disorder. 
  • You should practise mindfulness exercises that help improve your mental health. It will also help  reduce anxiety, calm your mind, and increase self-esteem.
  • You should stay in contact with people who support and motivate you. Social isolation can increase the negativity in your mind and may lead to depression.
  • Breathing exercises are another activity that you should follow to ease anxiety and reduce stress.


If you know anyone suffering from this mental health condition, it is important to make them feel comfortable and avoid saying things that may make them anxious. You should also make the person understand the importance of visiting a doctor. If you have a body dysmorphic disorder, you should see a doctor immediately to avoid complications. Most of the time, this issue is diagnosed after many years as people are unaware that the thoughts and feelings they are having are symptoms of a mental health problem or because they are too embarrassed or hesitant to ask for treatment.