IMAGINED UGLINESS: I can’t stop thinking about my appearance

Body dysmorphic – You can’t stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance — a flaw either that is minor or that you imagine. But to you, your appearance seems so shameful and distressing that you don’t want to be seen by anyone. You intensely obsess over your appearance and body image, often for many hours a day. You may seek out numerous cosmetic procedures to try to “fix” your perceived flaws but never are satisfied. Body dysmorphic is also known as dysmorphophobia, or the fear of having a deformity.

Signs and symptoms of body dysmorphic include a preoccupation with your physical appearance; Strong belief that you have an abnormality or defect in your appearance that makes you ugly; Frequently examining yourself in the mirror or, conversely, avoiding mirrors altogether; Believing that others take special notice of your appearance in a negative way; Frequent cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction; Excessive grooming, such as hair plucking; Feeling extremely self-conscious; Refusing to appear in pictures; Skin picking; Comparing your appearance with that of others; Avoiding social situations and/or wearing excessive makeup or clothing to camouflage perceived flaws.

The body feature you focus on may change over time. You may be so convinced about your perceived flaws that you become delusional, imagining something about your body that’s not true, no matter how much someone tries to convince you otherwise. Body dysmorphic usually doesn’t get better on its own, and if untreated, it may get worse over time and lead to suicidal thoughts and behavior.


DrBev is a National Certified Counselor, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and a Certified Gestalt Psychotherapist, Seminar - WorkShop Facilitator, Radio Personality, Author and President and Educational Director of DrBev Mental Health Counseling.
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