BODY DYSMORPHIA SIGNS AND TREATMENT
Body dysmorphic disorder is a psychological disorder that occurs when a young person believes that he or she has erroneous physical defects on his or her appearance.
The inaccurate physical flaws will cause the teenager to obsess to a point that creates an inability to function properly in his or her daily life. This can negatively affect a teenager’s family relationships, friendships, school performance, and physical health. The exact cause for body dysmorphic disorder remains unknown. There are, however, many treatment options available for a young person struggling with body dysmorphic disorder.
Signs & Symptoms
Any teenager suffering from body dysmorphic disorder will experience a range of symptoms. The combination of symptoms and the severity of symptoms will vary, depending on each individual teen. Some teens may outwardly exhibit few signs and some many. Below are several examples of common symptoms that may arise in a young person with body dysmorphic disorder:
• Easily embarrassed
• Excessive grooming
• Need for constant reassurance
• Obsessions with various parts of one’s physical body
• Low self-esteem
• Constantly hiding the area of the body that is thought to be physically defected
• Avoiding social situations
• Weight fluctuation
• Unhealthy diets
• Sleep disturbances
It is inevitable that every young person will have bouts insecurity surrounding his or her appearance (whether it be from weight fluctuations or a pimple). Teenagers that suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, however, will be debilitated by these feelings and unable to function properly in his or her daily life. Though this is a serious disorder, there is treatment available that can be very effective, and it is imperative to remember that recovery is attainable.
Medication has been said to be helpful for teenagers suffering from body dysmorphic disorder. We make sure that, if medication is deemed appropriate as a component of a teen’s treatment plan, to include the parents in this decision (both for permission and also for continued involvement in the teenager’s recovery process). At Pacific Teen Treatment, we use the leading experts in adolescent psychiatry when medication is considered. There are many therapeutic treatment modalities that we incorporate in each unique treatment plan that is created.
At Pacific Teen Treatment, some of the therapeutic methods we use include talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). Through dialectical behavioral therapy, a young person will have the chance to explore mindfulness based skills with the intention to help regulate his or her emotions. This is often done by helping the teen focus on living in the present moment. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a goal based therapy. This method works by using a problem-solving approach to change detrimental thinking patterns and unhealthy behavioral patterns. Talk therapy is held both individually and in a group setting. A young person with body dysmorphic disorder will also work closely with a nutritionist to assure a healthy diet.
We provide a safe, calming environment for our residents to feel comfortable, allowing them to focus solely on their recovery. It is important for each young person with body dysmorphic disorder to practice basic healthy lifestyle choices (eating, sleeping, exercise) on a daily basis. We also encourage our residents to integrate yoga and or meditation into their lives, as well as other relaxation methods. With proper treatment, your teenager will recover from body dysmorphic disorder and go on to live a healthy and enjoyable life.
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. In order to maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Seeking support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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