Body Dissatisfaction (Body Image Disorder)
Dissatisfaction with one’s appearance is a common problem: 43% of men and 56% of women reported discontent about their overall appearance. People may be concerned about flaws in their skin, hair, face, or general body build. However, some people worry so much about their appearance that is causes them great distress and interferes with their daily functioning.
Body dissatisfaction is maintained through attempts to reduce distress without correcting maladaptive beliefs. Situations that are likely to cause distress include mirrors and public places. Maladaptive beliefs that people may have include being too ugly to be loved or to have good things happen for them, and they believe these fears to be unmanageable. A preoccupation with a physical defect (e.g., embarrassment, not being accepted, looking ugly) can include taking actions to reduce distress comparing oneself to others, checking in mirrors or avoiding them altogether, seeking reassurance, camouflaging the defect, searching for medical remedies, excessive grooming, and avoiding social events. These behaviors keep the person from learning that attractiveness is not the sole determining factor in happiness and success. It can also lead to extreme social isolation, which falsely confirms the conviction that if one is unattractive, one can be happy with oneself or perform well around others.
For more information on our services or to schedule an appointment at St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute, please contact us at (314) 289-9411 for our St. Louis City location and (636) 532-9188 for our Chesterfield location, you can also choose to complete our online inquiry form. We look forward to speaking with you.