Looks to Kill

As the world continues to get obsessed with the good-looks and the good-looking, reality appears to be a thing of the past. Have you been staring at the mirror too long or have come across some one who does?

Well, if you have then don’t be too surprised as this is one of the latest disorders to hit the urban society. While a little amount of self-consciousness is harmless or even welcomed, it is a matter of concern if it grows in to a self-obsession. You know you are in trouble if your ‘concern’ turns into a paranoia and hinders in your everyday life.

The disorder gets out of hand in certain cases when the subject is unable to focus on work, kids, home or anything else. There have been instances when people have been unable to make social visits or even step out of the car without freaking out about how they look.

Termed as ‘Body Dysmorphic Disorder or BDD, it is soon catching up on the lifestyle today. Though the disorder has been recognized recently, however it has been believed to have existed for centuries. According to the latest research, it is the visual processing areas in the brain that function differently in the BDD cases.

The scans showed that the brain’s activity on imaging differed from the normal for the individuals suffering from the disorder. These results helped to conclude as to why some people tend to get so obsessed with certain ‘defects’ that may or may not in fact exist. In extreme cases the victims of this disorder turn to alcohol or even a surgery to get away from the problem!

While it is common for the women folk to be obsessed with their looks, Body Dysmorphic Disorder on the other hand also occurs in the men. There are cases when the men feel that they are un-fit when in fact they are quite muscular.

People suffering from BDD spend hours trying to work on their hair or faces that they think make them look ugly. Some people become socially more conscious when they feel that their ‘defective appearance’ has been discovered. However like all disorders, the BDD also has its cure. The cognitive behavioral therapy and serotonin-enhancing drug treatments are effective.

It is important to bear in mind that plastic surgery or any other forms of cosmetic treatments are not the real solutions to the problem. It is the underlying anxiety that has to be cured in the patient’s mind in order to have a speedy recovery.

It is important to keep in mind to love one-self as they are and accept that there is ‘beauty in imperfections also’. As responsible adults we must take care with our comments and compliments to our children, as this might just trigger off a major problem on the long run.



Urshit Tahir