Do You Hate the Way You Look?

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Sandy Klocinski

Do you always feel anxious whenever out in public, perhaps fearing that others are staring at you because of a self-perceived body flaw? Have you experienced "panic attacks" while in social settings, causing you to become so self-conscious that you have begun to avoid going out all together, including routine jaunts with friends and family? If so, this may suggest a more serious problem known as Social Phobia. The typical traits of Social Phobia can include the avoidance of social situations due to overwhelming fears that others are watching you because of a self-perceived physical defect. Often however, the defect is imagined.

Body Dysmorphic disorder is one of only a few mental illnesses that go untreated due to misunderstanding, and misdiagnosis. BDD can become a very serious illness, and can even lead to suicide, or self mutilation if left untreated. Body Dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterized by an excessive preoccupation with a real or imagined defect in your physical appearance.

Because BDD is a serious disorder with potentially tragic consequences, a better understanding of its root causes would be a welcome medical advance. But how are we to think about a condition that is associated with widely disparate personality types and seems so driven by cultural pressures?

Women in their 40s are developing eating disorders because they hate the way they look, a survey suggests.

Most of the 2,000 women questioned by Top Sante magazine were unhappy with their bodies and half had had cosmetic surgery, or would consider it.

The average woman over the age of 40 wants to weigh less than she did at 20.

Women said they found it harder to lose weight once they hit 40, and over a third said they were constantly on a diet.