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What Causes Body Dysmorphia?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder affects 1.7 to 2.9% of the general population, that is about 5 to 10 million people in the United States according to the International OCD Foundation. Unfortunately, we are seeing consistent growth in the number of people diagnosed with BDD, and many celebrities have spoken out about their diagnosis.

What is the cause of body dysmorphia and why is it affecting more people? Check out my Youtube video below as I discuss Doja Cat's body image issues plus a deeper look into the root causes of Body Dysmorphic Disorder. A short transcript is below the video.

Disclaimer: I'm a Dual-Certified Body Image and Self-Esteem Coach and I'm not authorized to medically diagnose any mental illnesses. The purpose of this content is educational only. I can coach you if you have BDD and you'd like to develop a plan of action to overcome this condition.

Now, on today's episode, we're going to talk about Doja Cat growing up with body image issues, and dealing with BDD symptoms, and we're going to discuss what I believe the root cause of BDD is. Disclaimer, I am not a licensed mental health professional or healthcare provider. If you think you have BDD, seek a professional, I am a Body Image & Self-esteem coach and do not treat mental illness but I can probably help you if you don't need medicine.

So, Doja Cat told Cosmopolitan Middle East that she struggled with body image her entire life. She said she had body dysmorphia as a teen because she hated her body and didn't like how she was growing. In the article, she mentioned that she was getting bigger and she thought she didn't look good in any of her outfits. I've known people in my lifetime who felt body shame for being curvy or like me, too skinny. So you become obsessed with not being that way.

More recently, we've seen Doja Cat go through some physical changes and I honestly believe she's still dealing with BDD, even if it's undiagnosed. I talked more about my theory of celebrities who struggle with body image, it's in our Megan Fox episode about why I think most celebrities struggle with this. So many eyes are on them, so many comments, so many pictures... it causes you to worry about yourself. UK listed common causes and treatments for BDD and it said those who model or are into fitness have a greater risk of being body dysmorphic due to the nature of those industries. I believe it's the same way for celebrities who are often in the spotlight or whose looks are the talk of the town, it can cause you to develop fears of being in the spotlight.

Professionals don't know the exact cause of BDD but there are a range of different things that can contribute:

  • ​Abuse or bullying

  • Low self-esteem

  • Fear of being rejected

  • Perfectionism or comparing yourself with others

  • Genetics (I don't think so)

  • Depression, anxiety, or OCD

But regardless of how it started, I think the common factor out of all of these is a spirit of fear. When you look at the root word, dysmorphophobia it's a fear of having a deformity. It's the fear of being ugly or abnormal. And the most common reason why people have fears about their looks is because of how other people perceive them. Think about it, if we weren't on the planet with anyone else, would you know you're ugly, fat, deformed, or beautiful? We don't realize what we are unless someone else is present. How would you know if it's wrong unless someone told you or if you saw it "perfect"? Who defines perfect anyway... These are questions to ask yourself. Who's definition am I living for? And what makes my appearance wrong?

There's something I want you to understand here. If you live your life based on the subjective view of other people, you're always going to have to change. But if you live from an objective view, the fact that everyone is unique and born to be different... the fact that there isn't one look for everyone... you're living in the freedom of who you are.

And keep this in mind, God didn't give us a spirit of fear. He didn't create you to live in this world just to fear what other people say. He created you to be in a close relationship with Him, living for the purpose and calling that He destined for you, in the body He created and called good.

"For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind." - 2 Timothy 1:7

If you want help addressing BDD, and you need a support system, I'm here. Schedule a time to learn about my holistic and biblical methods that can help you. Subscribe to our podcast so that you don't miss the next episodes!


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