Body Dysmorphic Disorder Essay

1076 words - 4 pages

Regina is a teenager who’s living in a college dorm. When she was younger she broke her nose and afterwards a tiny bump remained. By the time she was a legal adult, Regina thought she had a facial deformity. She became obsessive and refused to go in public. Even after she underwent plastic surgery she still found something else wrong with her face. All this (along with other symptoms) has led me to diagnose Regina with body dysmorphic disorder.
People who suffer from body dysmorphic disorder exhibit certain symptoms. Some of these include social isolation, seeking surgery, camouflaging (trying to hide their perceived flaw with clothes, makeup, etc.), and comparing body parts to other peoples appearances (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Regina first thought the small bump on her nose was a monumental flaw that had to be corrected. Without that fix, she became socially isolated and wore clothes (giant sweatshirts and hoodies) that would cover up this perceived imperfection. Furthermore, Regina couldn’t face “normal” looking people. She compared herself to others and deemed herself a “hag.” Everyone else was so much better looking and she was too ugly to be seen in public. After her surgery she began to act normal again, but only for a short while. Soon after she thought her forehead was rife with “worry lines.” She begged her parents to pay for more plastic surgery, which they declined. She even went to great lengths and opened a credit card account to pay for the surgery. Now Regina is in the unfortunate position of not being able to keep up with all her bills. Even after all that, she’s still obsessive and has started to skip college classes. All of this due to her “appalling” wrinkles on her forehead (which others don’t seem to be aware of). She is completely delusional in her beliefs (as evidence by no one else seeing said imperfections). Regina exhibits obsessions about her facial features, sought multiple surgeries, camouflaged her “disfigurations,” and became socially isolated. All of these are symptoms of someone with body dysmorphic disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
At first I thought Regina might have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). She exhibited some of the symptoms such as obsessive and unwanted thoughts (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). I thought her ritual (compulsion) might be constantly hiding her appearance. After she found each flaw she would wear large clothes to cover it up and retreat to her room (alone). It didn’t say if she constantly checked or avoided mirrors, which is another symptom of body dysmorphic disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). However, I soon realized that was not the best diagnosis. She does have obsessive thoughts but they are specific to features on her body (body dysmorphic disorder). Common obsessive thoughts for OCD are fears and aggressive sexual thoughts, which Regina didn’t have (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). She also didn’t have...

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