Ileana D'Cruz wasn't the only one, Michael Jackson had Body Dysmorphic Disorder too. Here's what that means

Are you unhappy with the way you look? Do you spend hours in front of the mirror trying to fix the flaws of your body? You might be suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Here's what you need to know about the condition

Noted Chinese Philosopher Confucius once said, ‘Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it’. Greek philosopher, Plato echoed similar thoughts when he said, ‘Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’. However, modern society disagrees with both these revolutionary thinkers and others with similar views as it lays emphasis on the physical aspect of beauty.

Our society has created high standards of beauty, both for men and women, that are impossible to comply with. While desirous men are expected to be ‘tall, dark and handsome‘, women are expected to be ‘fair, have a size-zero figure and be well-groomed all the time’.

The high standards coupled with surreal body image expectations created by the fashion industry has put a lot of pressure on the young boys and girls and even celebrities, who aspire to attain these perfect figures. However, many times these surreal standards lead to the creation of a feeling of dissatisfaction among the people. This dissatisfaction if left unchecked leads to health conditions that can cripple an individual mentally, emotionally and physically.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental condition in which an individual is unhappy with one’s own appearance. Individuals suffering from BDD are constantly looking out for means to change their appearance to meet their ideal body image.

Many Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities have come forward and admitted suffering from this mental condition. While in Hollywood stars like Demi Lovato, Shakira, Michael Jackson, Robert Pattinson and Miley Cyrus have announced their condition, in Bollywood Ileana D’cruz has talked openly about her struggles with the condition.

miley cyrus, health

Miley Cyrus (Photo: Facebook)

You’re a pop star! That means you have to be blonde, and you have to have long hair, and you have to put on some glittery tight thing. Meanwhile, I’m this fragile little girl playing a 16-year-old in a wig and a ton of makeup. It was like Toddlers & Tiaras. I had f*ing flippers,” Miley Cyrus said in an interview with Marie Claire.

The king of pop, Michael Jackson, underwent over 30 cosmetic surgeries during his lifetime to change his appearance. “Feeling comfortable in your clothes is something I deal with to this day. I wish I had somebody I had to look up to when I was younger to stand up and say, ‘Hey, I have fat days.’ So I want to be able to start a foundation or something that’s for girls feeling confident, to empower them,” Demi Lovato said on sharing her struggle with the disorder.

Demi Lovato, health

Demi Lovato (Photo: Facebook)

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Bollywood actress Ileana D’Cruz recently shared her struggle with the body disorder in a video. “I was shy, a self-conscious person once I hit my teens. I was constantly hit on for my body type. The obsession started when I was 15. My entire life goal was to be accepted by everyone. I never got it. I did not know I had body disorder. There was a period, approx three years ago. I was completely depressed. The most comforting thought was to end things. But I realised it did not seem right,” she shared.

What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
According to the Mayo Clinic, BDD is a mental disorder in which an individual can’t stop thinking about the perceived flaws that may or may not be observable to others. People suffering from BDD may repeatedly check the mirror for reassurance and they might also opt for cosmetic procedures to hide the perceived flaws. They may feel ashamed and anxious and avoid social interactions.

ALSO READ: Successful and driven, yet depressed? Dark side of ‘High Functioning Depression’

What are the symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
Some of the common symptoms of BDD include– avoiding social interaction, seeking frequent cosmetic procedures, comparing one’s appearance with others, engaging in repetitive behaviour like- skin picking, looking in the mirror, touching the perceived defect.

Apart from this, people suffering from BDD have mood disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders and eating disorders.

How is Body Dysmorphic Disorder treated?
This mental condition is treated with a combination of psychotherapy and selective antidepressant medications. Apart from this support of family and friends also helps in coping with the disease.

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