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QVC everywhere. Download the QVC App. All rights reserved. But for someone with BDD, the flaw is significant and prominent, often causing severe emotional distress and difficulties in daily functioning. BDD most often develops in adolescents and teens, and research shows that it affects men and women almost equally. The causes of BDD are unclear, but certain biological and environmental factors may contribute to its development, including genetic predisposition, neurobiological factors such as malfunctioning of serotonin in the brain, personality traits, and life experiences e.

People with BDD suffer from obsessions about their appearance that can last for hours or up to an entire day. BDD obsessions may be focused on musculature i. Hard to resist or control, these obsessions make it difficult for people with BDD to focus on anything but their imperfections. This can lead to low self-esteem, avoidance of social situations, and problems at work or school.

BDD sufferers may perform some type of compulsive or repetitive behavior to try to hide or improve their flaws although these behaviors usually give only temporary relief. People with BDD commonly also suffer from anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder , as well as other disorders such as depression , eating disorders , or obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD.

BDD can also be misdiagnosed as one of these disorders because they share similar symptoms. The intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors exhibited in BDD are similar to the obsessions and compulsions of OCD.

BDD is distinguished from OCD when the preoccupations or repetitive behaviors focus specifically on appearance. To get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, people must mention specifically their concerns with their appearance when they talk to a doctor or mental health professional. A trained clinician should diagnose BDD 1. However, you can take a self-test that can help suggest if BDD is present, but it will not offer a definitive diagnosis.

Some people who voice falsehoods appear incapable of distinguishing real from unreal, or truth from fiction, yet are sincerely convinced their worldview is absolutely correct. And this is our entree into the psychiatric literature. In clinical psychiatry, we see patients with a broad spectrum of ideas that many people would find eccentric, exaggerated or blatantly at odds with reality.

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Sometimes, clinicians can be wildly mistaken in their first impressions. A colleague of mine once described a severely agitated patient who was hospitalized because he insisted he was being stalked and harassed by the FBI. A few days into his hospitalization, FBI agents showed up on the unit to arrest the patient.

We can think of distortions of reality as falling along a continuum, ranging from mild to severe, based on how rigidly the belief is held and how impervious it is to factual information. On the milder end, we have what psychiatrists call over-valued ideas.

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On the severe end of the continuum are delusions. These are strongly held, completely inflexible beliefs that are not altered at all by factual information, and which are clearly false or impossible. A patient who inflexibly believes that Vladimir Putin has personally implanted an electrode in his brain in order to control his thoughts would qualify as delusional.

When the patient expresses this belief, he or she is not lying or trying to deceive the listener. It is a sincerely held belief, but still a falsehood.

For example, you are absolutely certain you sent that check to the power company, but in fact, you never did. A much more serious type of false memory involves a process called confabulation : the spontaneous production of false memories, often of a very detailed nature. Some confabulated memories are mundane; others, quite bizarre. Or, the person may insist she was abducted by terrorists and present a fairly elaborate account of the fictional ordeal.