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The Dr Lanzer’s Body Dysmorphic Disorder Interview for Channel 10
Dr Lanzer is one of the most prominent cosmetic surgerys in Australia, so it is no surprise that you will encounter Dr Lanzer in the media quite frequently. One of the most recent interviews of Dr Lanzer was done by Channel 10. In this interview, Dr Lanzer spoke about people who are struggling with a condition called BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder). There may be a new MRI Test that could show a brain defect in this condition.
What Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is classified as an anxiety disorder. It causes the patient to have a distorted view of their body. The patient also spends a tremendous amount of time worrying about their body.
Many patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder try to obtain a multitude of cosmetic procedures in their attempt to achieve the perfect body image. These procedures may vary from liposuction and face lifts to laser resurfacing and breast enhancements. Most cosmetic surgerys are trained in spotting Body Dysmorphic Disorders; this to prevent patients from obtaining too many cosmetic procedures, which could have a negative impact on their health.
Cosmetics surgeons had training to detect psychological problems such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder, so they are usually able to refer the patient in question to an experienced psychologist or psychiatrist, who will be able to help the patient conquer his or her distorted body image.
A cosmetic surgery will be able to detect this when a patient visits a cosmetic surgery for multiple procedures over a short period of time. These procedures often apply to the same part or area the body.
For example, if a patient has a problem with ageing of the skin, they usually come to the clinic for a simple laser resurfacing procedure or similar procedure that can correct the problem. A patient with Body Dysmorphic Disorder will never be happy with the results they obtain from the laser resurfacing procedure. They might return to the clinic for more laser resurfacing procedures over a short period of time. If their cosmetic surgery is unwilling to perform the laser resurfacing procedure again, the patient may try again with another cosmetic surgery. If this problem sounds familiar to you, or you have recognised this in a friend or family member, it is important to refer the person in question to a psychologist or psychiatrist.
What Are the Symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
There are many symptoms that can be an indication of Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Some the signs of Body Dysmorphic Disorder are: being obsessed with your physical appearance, extreme self-consciousness, checking the way you look obsessively in the mirror, avoiding social events, feeling the need to close yourself off from others, having an obsessive belief that you are ugly, excessive grooming or applying an obsessive amount of makeup. There are more symptoms that can occur with Body
Dysmorphic Disorder, so this list could be complemented with additional symptoms. In order to be diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, patients usually have two or more of these symptoms.
Obsessive behaviour in regard to a specific body part can relate to many different areas of the body. Patients suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder can become obsessive about their face, hair, skin, vein appearance, breast size, muscle tone, body contour and genitalia.
What Causes Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
The precise cause of Body Dysmorphic Disorder is not yet known, but there are some common denominators amongst patients suffering from the condition. One theory that is currently being considered by researchers is that patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder have a problem with a function of a certain part of the brain, more specifically the brain area that is responsible to process information about body appearance and body image.
It also seems like Body Dysmorphic Disorder occurs more in patients with common mental health disorders, which mainly includes conditions such as major depression and anxiety. The link between these mental health disorders and Body Dysmorphic Disorder could indicate that there is a biological factor in the development of this mental health condition.
There are also three additional factors that have been detected in patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder. The majority of patients have experienced a traumatic event in their childhood, struggle with severe self-esteem issues, or have parents who have been overly critical of the appearance of the patient in question.
How Do Mental Health Professionals Diagnose Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
Unfortunately, the majority of these cases go undetected for many years. Only after the patient repeatedly seeks cosmetic surgery for the same physical defect, the disorder is detected by a cosmetic surgery. The patient is then usually referred to a psychologist or psychiatrist for treatment.
What Is the Treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
There are many treatment options available for Body Dysmorphic Disorder, although the most common treatment for this is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy consists of a one-on-one counselling session, which usually belongs to the category of cognitive behaviour therapy. During this form of therapy, the psychologist will attempt to disprove the false belief the patient has and subsequently adjust their behaviour.
Considering the fact that most cases of Body Dysmorphic Disorder are accompanied by another mental health disorder, treatment for the condition can also consist of medication. Many patients suffering from the condition will have to take SSRIs (Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) or anti-psychotic medicine. The medication taken by the patient will depend on the severity of the Body Dysmorphic Disorder or the underlying medical condition.
Some people may also benefit from group and/or family therapy, considering that support is crucial to get better. It is important that the environment of the patient is informed about Body Dysmorphic Disorder and is familiar with the tools used to get the patient to a better state of mind. The environment of the patient will also learn to detect the symptoms of the condition, and be able to ring the alarm bell if the patient is in need of more help.
Dr Lanzer recommends all his patients speak to a Psychologist before surgery and he will facilitate that consultation.