Although feeling about appearance is a syndrome characterized by excessive and persistent listening to deficiencies in the body. This syndrome makes patients always stressed, painful and takes a lot of time and money for cosmetic measures.
What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a rare mental disorder with prevalence ranging from 1.4 to 2.4% of the population. world. People with this condition often exaggerate worries about appearance from body shape, skin, hair, teeth or to the smallest details such as fingernails, toenails, freckles and dark spots.
The inferiority complex is different from the usual low self-esteem. This syndrome causes the patient to pay too much attention to the defects in the body leading to a state of anxiety, stress, sadness, pessimism and sometimes a feeling of fear because others will laugh at them. own – even if it is only a very small defect.
To ease anxiety and feel more comfortable, patients make efforts to beautify with a variety of methods including plastic surgery. After the defect is corrected, the patient will feel comfortable and satisfied. However, people with this syndrome continue to search for defects in the body and repeat the state of excessive anxiety, then look for solutions.
When hearing about the “fear of the bad” syndrome, people often do not imagine the negative emotions that the patient has to face and most think that this is a characteristic of people who attach too much importance to appearance. Social prejudice and ignorance are the main reasons why patients do not have early access to health care measures.
In Vietnam, there are no statistics on the proportion of people suffering from inferiority complex about their appearance. However, many small-scale studies have been carried out. Research results of Dr. Tran Nguyen Anh Tu, Doctor Tran Vu Anh Dao and colleagues at Ho Chi Minh City Dermatology Hospital on 173 patients showed that, 11 patients had manifestations of the “fear of bad” syndrome, in In which, women account for 82.66% and the average age falls between 30 and 32 years old.
Many other studies have also shown that the disease rate is quite high in people who regularly have plastic surgery and other beauty treatments. Visual inferiority complex is a mental disorder that needs to be examined and treated. Prolonged exposure can cause depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and sometimes suicide.
Recognizing the appearance of inferiority complex
The characteristic symptom of phobias is that the patient pays too much attention to body defects and exaggerates concerns about appearance. The percentage of patients fluctuates around 2%, but in which, more than 50% of patients undergo cosmetic surgery and 15% of patients regularly visit dermatology. This shows that anxiety about appearance causes many problems for the patient’s life and finances.
Signs of “bad fear” syndrome:
- Spend a lot of time standing in front of a mirror to find flaws in your appearance – especially in the face area. People with this disease often notice defects in the skin, nose, eyes, and body shape.
- People with inferiority complex often worry about defects such as dark skin, large pores, acne, keloid scars, single eyelids, freckles, flat nose, thin hair, not smooth, fat body or too thin, unbalanced body…
- Spending hours a day taking care of beauty such as dieting, exercising, applying masks, incubating hair, taking care of skin, trying on many clothes, etc. It takes at least 1 hour to prepare carefully. carefully before going out. Common features in people with phobias are fussy hairstyles, fashionable and decent clothes, use of perfume and careful makeup.
- Although the patient has a good-looking appearance, he is never confident, always thinks he is ugly and is afraid of being laughed at and ridiculed by others.
- Constantly comparing yourself to others.
- Because of the constant worry about appearance, the patient often asks the opinions of those around him about his appearance, how to dress, hairstyle, etc. At the same time, he often mentions whether to have plastic surgery and perform beauty measures or not. The condition occurs not only a few times but persists for a long time and the sufferer often reveals this to relatives or close friends.
- Always try to repair and improve their own shortcomings with skin care, exercise, etc. Some people turn to plastic surgery to have a satisfactory appearance. After correcting the defect, the patient will feel comfortable and satisfied. However, soon after, the patient will try to find other defects, including very small defects such as gray hair, large pores, scars, dark acne, rough skin, sparse, short eyelashes, etc.
- Another sign of bad fear syndrome is that the patient is very strict in the skin care cycle, diet and exercise to be able to have the desired appearance. However, many patients are too extreme in their diets and over-exercise, making their bodies exhausted.
- Some people have a distorted perception of beauty and consider themselves deformed, unlike normal people. In severe cases, the patient may lock himself in his room because he thinks he is very ugly and is afraid to go out because he thinks people will laugh at him.
- Be sensitive and concerned about what others say about your appearance. If they are criticized for their dress, hairstyle, skin, etc., the patient will become miserable and focus on the shortcomings that others talk about.
- The state of exaggerated anxiety about appearance makes the patient always stressed, anxious, sad, melancholy, miserable, etc. People with this disease can only feel comfortable as soon as the defect is improved. and the condition will return quickly because the patient is always looking for imperfections in the body.
People with “bad fear” syndrome waste a lot of time on improving their appearance and spend money on expensive cosmetic methods. In addition, being too focused on appearance also makes people around feel tired and thinks that the patient lives superficially and lacks depth.
People with this disease have difficulty in getting promoted, have few friends, are afraid to date, lack social skills, etc. Some people are afraid that others will laugh at them, so they lock themselves in their room and live completely dependent. into the family.
Causes of bad fear syndrome
Concern about appearance is a common response. Some people may pay more attention to their appearance due to the nature of work, age, and personality traits. However, this is different from phobias.
Similar to other mental disorders, the exact cause of agoraphobia is unknown. The studies that have been done have partly shown the role of psychological trauma in the pathogenesis. In addition, people with pre-existing mental disorders and low self-esteem and shyness have a higher risk of developing the disease.
Factors that increase the risk of phobias:
- Having a family member (whether related by blood or not) who has an inferiority complex about their appearance increases the risk of the disease. Because living together for a long time causes children to learn the thoughts and behaviors of the sick person and gradually develop symptoms of phobias.
- If the family attaches great importance to appearance and tends to treat them unfairly due to bad looks, there is a high chance of having an inferiority complex about appearance.
- The family tortures, discards or neglects the children because of their unsightly appearance.
- Being ostracized and ridiculed for his fat and ugly appearance.
- Society attaches great importance to appearance, leading to difficulties in studying and finding a job, which is also a factor that increases the risk of phobias. In particular, this view deeply affects women, so the rate of women suffering from the disease is often higher than that of men.
- Perfectionists are prone to obsessing over appearance defects.
- Genetics is also a risk factor for phobias. Experts found that genes regulate neurotransmitters and how the brain works. As a result, children may inherit disease-carrying genes and develop excessive anxiety about appearance defects.
- People with pre-existing mental disorders such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder, eating disorders, etc. will have a high probability of having bad fear syndrome.
- People who have been hurt by their unsightly appearance (abandoned, betrayed partner, etc.) are prone to develop phobias about defects in appearance and are likely to develop phobias.
- Shyness, low self-esteem, and lack of bravery are also factors that increase the risk of disease. Because experts have found that people with a strong and determined personality will know how to overcome adversity in a healthy way, instead of having excessive fear and anxiety about physical defects.
So far, the above factors are still hypothetical because the research results are not uniform. Moreover, many people have all the risk factors but have absolutely no symptoms of inferiority complex. However, genetics and psychosocial factors are still considered to be the two main causes of this pathology.
Does the appearance of inferiority affect anything?
Currently, understanding about mental problems in general and phobias in particular is still quite limited. Many people believe that the manifestations of this syndrome are due to the personality that focuses on appearance and cares too much about appearance. However, hidden deep inside taking care of your appearance is a persistent fear and anxiety about appearance defects.
The appearance of inferiority complex makes the patient always in a state of stress, anxiety, fear of being laughed at, ridiculed, etc. If left untreated, these negative emotions will deepen over time, causing the person to suffer. Patients are at risk for anxiety disorders, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, emotional disturbances, and sometimes developing eating disorders.
People with phobias also face many health problems due to over-exercising, dieting and a high likelihood of complications from plastic surgery addiction. In addition, spending too much time on beauty treatments also makes patients neglect their studies and careers, it is difficult to maintain close relationships, and it is difficult to date and get married.
People with inferiority complex face financial pressure due to spending too much money on plastic surgery and low income because they cannot maintain stable work performance. The troubles in life plus emotional instability make the patient pessimistic, hopeless, thinking about death and committing suicide. As can be seen, phobias cause a lot of effects on health, finances and other aspects of life. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment is very important.
7 Ways to overcome appearance inferiority complex (phobia of bad)
The inferiority complex about appearance is different from self-doubt and shyness. This disease requires early medical examination and treatment to avoid serious long-term effects. Currently, the diagnosis of phobias is mainly based on clinical symptoms, and doctors often use the DSM-5 criteria to make a definite diagnosis.
Basically, this syndrome can be controlled with chemotherapy and psychotherapy. However, in order to overcome the inferiority complex about appearance, patients need to make efforts to change their thinking and move towards more positive things.
Some methods to help patients overcome inferiority complex about appearance:
Psychotherapy or psychotherapy is the main method in the treatment of phobias. This method is carried out with the goal of helping patients adjust their perception and thinking about beauty. The specialist will help the patient understand that appearance is never as important as character and ability. The improvement of appearance only complements to make it easier in work and life.
In addition, the psychologist will also help the patient understand that everyone has a disability and this is completely normal. Changing your mind can reduce anxiety about your appearance and improve your anxiety about others laughing at you.
At present, cognitive-behavioral therapy is a commonly applied method in the treatment of inferiority complex. This method helps patients change their thoughts and perceptions, thereby releasing emotions and adjusting behavior in a better way. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is also effective in improving accompanying mental disorders such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, etc.
In addition to the above goals, psychotherapy also directs patients to a healthy lifestyle, improving overeating, plastic surgery addiction and excessive exercise. After therapy, patients will know how to regulate their emotions and understand their self-worth. From there, you can live happily, optimistically and strive to improve yourself in the healthiest way.
Imbalance of neurotransmitters is a direct cause of anxiety, excessive stress about appearance defects. Therefore, in addition to psychotherapy, patients need to use drugs to control symptoms. In addition, taking medication also helps to lift the spirit and prevent panic during psychotherapy.
For patients co-morbid with other mental disorders, drug use is considered the main method that must be implemented in parallel with psychotherapy. Here are some medications that are used for patients with an inferiority complex:
- Antidepressant drugs
- Sedatives, anxiolytics
- Vitamins, minerals and nerve cell regenerative oral tablets for patients with debilitated body due to extreme diet and exercise.
3. Share with those around you
Phobias can isolate patients because those around them think they lack depth and are overly concerned with appearance. Therefore, you should honestly share with everyone about your illness to receive support when working, studying, etc.
Fear and anxiety about physical defects make patients always stressed, sad and miserable. Instead of keeping these feelings private, patients should share them with family and friends. Advice and comfort and encouragement will help the patient to be motivated to overcome the illness.
4. Make friends with people with phobias
Sometimes patients do not find empathy in those around them because they inherently do not understand the complex psychology caused by this syndrome. Therefore, make friends with people who have the same inferiority complex about appearance to freely share and express feelings.
Patients can contact a psychologist to connect with people. In addition to emotional release, the patient can learn from the experiences of those who have successfully treated. This is very important in overcoming the fear of appearance defects and building a healthy, active lifestyle.
5. Participate in meaningful activities
If confined in a room, the patient will stand for hours in front of the mirror to look for defects in the body. Therefore, it is advisable to limit free time by participating in meaningful activities such as donating hair, donating blood, joining clubs in wards and neighborhoods, helping disadvantaged people, participating in social activities. community service,…
These activities bring joy and help patients forget anxiety and stress about physical defects. Moreover, meaningful activities will also help patients understand that their self-worth is not in appearance. In addition, when seeing difficult and unlucky situations, patients will have a sense of effort to work and improve themselves to increase income and improve family life.
6. Stay away from negative information
Negative information with content that is ostracized, abandoned and mistreated due to bad looks increases the fear of physical defects. Therefore, patients should stay away from these sources of information.
You can find inspirational stories to understand that success comes from real effort and ability. In addition, the family also needs to support the patient in raising the awareness of health protection to avoid dieting, excessive exercise and addiction to plastic surgery.
7. Learn how to relieve stress
Too much attention to physical defects makes patients always stressed, anxious, pessimistic, bored, etc. Therefore, in addition to the above measures, it is necessary to learn how to relieve stress. If negative emotions are not released, the condition will deepen over time leading to a variety of mental disorders.
There are many stress relievers that patients can apply such as yoga, meditation, massage, aromatherapy and the use of some herbal teas. In addition, spending time with family and friends is also an effective way to balance emotions.
Appearance inferiority complex is a mental disorder that requires medical examination and treatment. This pathology is different from low self-esteem and dissatisfaction with appearance. If you suspect you have the disease, you should proactively see a doctor to avoid long-term consequences.