Not all therapists for Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD) are made equal. In fact, many therapists don't have any experience in treating body dysmorphia at all! Given the niche subject matter, it is important that when seeking therapy for body dysmorphia in Denver you find the right therapist for you. At Connected Brain Counseling, we specialize in adult women's mental health issues including eating disorders and body dysmorphia for women in Denver. Here, we will discuss the basics of body dysmorphia and how to find a therapist to help you treat body dysmorphia in Denver.
What is Body Dysmorphia?
Body Dysmorphia is a mental health disorder that involves distorted body image and an intense preoccupation with the perceived flaws in one's physical appearance. People with body dysmorphia can become obsessed with their perceived physical imperfections, leading to distress and difficulty in their daily lives. Body dysmorphia can involve a variety of body parts, including the skin, hair, nose, and weight. It also generally is comorbid (co-diagnosed) with eating disorders.
Common signs and symptoms of body dysmorphia include excessive grooming and checking in the mirror, comparing oneself to others, avoiding mirrors, being extremely critical of one’s body, and engaging in compulsive behavior related to body image (Mayo Clinic) When left untreated, body dysmorphia can lead to anxiety, depression, social isolation, and even suicidal thoughts.
Fortunately, therapy can help! Through therapy for body dysmorphia, individuals can learn to cope with and manage their negative body image and find relief from the distress caused by body dysmorphia. Therapy helps people with body dysmorphia identify and challenge unhelpful thinking patterns and teaches them strategies to reduce body-focused behaviors. Therapy also provides a safe space for people with body dysmorphia to discuss their struggles and build self-acceptance. With help from a therapist, people with body dysmorphia can work towards feeling more comfortable in their own skin.
Where Does Body Dysmorphia Comes From
The exact cause of body dysmorphia is not known but it is believed to be the result of a combination of factors such as genetics, environment, and past experiences.
Genetics may play a role as some people may have a genetic predisposition to developing this disorder. Environmental factors, such as teasing or bullying, can also contribute to the development of body dysmorphia. Past experiences such as traumatic events or a history of abuse can also play a role.
The good news is that body dysmorphia is treatable! Therapy can help to address the distorted thoughts and feelings associated with body dysmorphia. Therapy can also help with eating disorders that occur with body dysmorphia. Therapists use cognitive-behavioral techniques to help individuals understand their thought patterns and behaviors, as well as learn to challenge any irrational beliefs. By replacing negative thinking patterns with more realistic ones, individuals can start to create a healthier relationship with their bodies. Therapists also help individuals become more aware of their triggers and develop healthy coping strategies to better manage their symptoms.
With proper treatment, it’s possible to reduce the intensity of body image concerns and develop healthier self-image. In therapy, individuals can gain a better understanding of how their thoughts and feelings about their bodies affect their overall wellbeing. With this knowledge, individuals can begin to take steps towards rebuilding their self-esteem and reclaiming control over their body image.
How Long Does It Take to Heal Body Dysmorphia
Generally speaking, the healing process for body dysmorphia can take several months or even years of dedicated treatment to achieve lasting results. During this time, individuals typically undergo a combination of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and/or exposure therapy. In some cases, medications may also be prescribed in order to reduce symptoms of body dysmorphia. Neurofeedback is another great option for helping ease the symptoms of body dysmorphia by relaxing the nervous system.
At first, these treatments may focus on helping an individual understand their thoughts and feelings surrounding their body image and self-esteem. As therapy progresses, the individual may then work on developing healthier coping strategies and positive self-talk in order to manage their body dysmorphia more effectively.
Ultimately, the goal of therapy is to help the individual accept and love their body and improve their quality of life.
It is important to remember that everyone's healing journey will look different. With patience and commitment to therapy, it is possible to gain insight and control over body dysmorphia with therapy. If you or someone you know is struggling with body dysmorphia, consider reaching out to a licensed therapist for help.
Finding the Right Body Dysmorphia Therapist in Denver
When searching for a therapist for body dysmorphia in Denver, make sure they have extensive experience in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). These types of therapies can help you learn to observe your thoughts objectively and challenge negative thought patterns, and to focus on the present moment instead of obsessing over past experiences or future worries.
It's also important to make sure you are comfortable with your therapist (if you don't like your therapist, learn how to break up with your therapist here!). Make sure to research reviews online or ask friends or family members who have been through therapy to get a sense of whether a particular therapist is a good fit for you.
No matter which body dysmorphia therapist in Denver you choose, it’s important to remember that recovery takes time. Be patient and trust that therapy can help you develop healthier attitudes about your body and foster more positive self-talk. With the right approach, you can learn how to manage your body dysmorphia and live a full, satisfying life.