Body dysmorphia means unhappiness about the size or shape of your body.
Common sources of dissatisfaction include:
- Penis size
- Back and shoulders
The issue is particularly acute with people with a disfiguring illness like acne, vitiligo, or eczema.
Understandably many people with body dysmorphia look to medicine to ‘correct’ what they are unhappy with.
Cosmetic treatment can help for some people.
For others they discover that however much they spend on cosmetic procedures, they are still unhappy with their body.
The psychotherapeutic approach to body dysmorphia is to understand that the brain forms a representation of the person.
You could call this representation ‘residual self-image’.
For people with body dysmorphia the residual self-image is a long way from what is objectively seen in the mirror by an outsider.
It is important to note the person does not choose to see themselves, as say fat, the brain literarily causes the person to ‘see’ themselves as fat.
The psychotherapeutic approach to body dysmorphia is therefore to change the residual self image so that it is more accurate.
This can be achieved with a variety of techniques including cognitive behavioural psychotherapy (CBT), hypnotherapy and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR).