Teen Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a mental illness characterized by teens having a distorted view of their bodies- namely, that they have an extreme abnormality (maybe regarding a particular feature or aspect of the body), but these abnormalities actually do not exist. The teens’ obsession with the imagined abnormality can become so intense and overwhelming that they try to hide the feature at all times. Furthermore, the teens’ perceptions of the abnormality causes significant feelings of anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem, resulting in negative effects in their lives overall.
The most prominent symptom for teens with Body Dysmorphic Disorder is the teens’ obsession with a particular part or feature of their bodies, such as the nose, mouth, skin, or hair. Furthermore, the teens go to extreme measures to hide and/or change that particular feature accordingly. The teens experience such anxiety and guilt surrounding the feature that it causes disruptions in numerous areas of their lives, such as causing them to feel self-conscious and lose confidence, as well as causing them to isolate themselves and/or withdraw from relationships. The effects of this worry can cause such negative effects on the teens’ perceptions of themselves that the shame and embarrassment can also lead to disruptions such as difficulty with academics and/or other responsibilities.
It’s clear when addressing the extenuating symptoms of this disorder that this bodily obsession is connected with deeper underlying feelings of anxiety, stress, and/or depression. It’s extremely common for teens to have Body Dysmorphic Disorder as a Co-Occurring disorder and regardless of diagnosis, all teens with the disorder experience significant feelings of chronic stress and anxiety.
Because teens’ symptoms of bodily obsession are so interconnected with feelings of stress and anxiety, it’s crucial that teen body dysmorphic disorder treatment addresses both aspects. While therapists will often begin working with teens immediately upon evaluating and exploring their feelings and thoughts around the obsession, it’s also important to help lessen the teens’ overwhelming sense of stress, in order to start making progress. It can be common that if teens can experience some relief from this stress, they will be more able to make significant progress in talk therapy sessions, as well as other therapeutic forms of engagement.
In some cases, medication can be helpful in providing some immediate relief to teens’ anxiety, which will in turn help teens to engage in treatment more fully. Beyond this, at Paradigm New York we also implement a wide range of therapeutic resources, designed to help support and nurture teens, not only helping them to de-stress, but also, to practice forms of self-acceptance. Some resources we find useful for this are things such as yoga, regular exercise, proper nutrition, acupuncture, and massage.
Paradigm New York:
At Paradigm New York, we provide holistic approach to Teen Body Dysmorphic Disorder treatment for teens from all over the United States, including local teens of New York. Depending on the particular teen, Paradigm New York designs every treatment plan individually, so that the treatment process uniquely reflects the teen’s needs, symptoms, and goals, and pays special care to address any Co-Occuring Disorders. Paradigm New York is located just outside of New York City and is one of the leading teen treatment centers in the country for teen body dysmorphic disorder and other eating disorders.