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Does body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) include a focus on real or imagined details about one’s appearance? What’s the difference between BDD and general unhappiness with how you look on any given day? How disruptive is BDD? Are there cultural or genetic factors involved in determining who is affected by the disorder?

These are just some of the questions individuals have when it comes to better understanding BDD. A new Buzzfeed article tackles the answers to these questions and others in a piece called “13 Things You Need to Know About Body Dysmorphic Disorder.” The author writes: 

“Listen to what someone says about themselves, if they start to use a lot of a negative self-talk, especially if it’s something that seems imagined or just distorted,” says [licensed psychologist] Sari Fine Shepphird. Some red flags in their speech might include things like: feeling ugly, looking hideous, looking like a monster, or using words like “disgusting” to describe themselves. You can also be on the lookout for behaviors that seem compulsive or repetitive, like excessive grooming or mirror checking.

If these symptoms are interfering with daily life — or if they’re accompanied by thoughts of shame, embarrassment, or suicide — it might be time for you or your loved one to seek help from a doctor or therapist.

The full article, including twelve other points experts say readers should know about BDD, can be found on the Buzzfeed site here.

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