Just what is Selfie Dysmorphic Disorder and why are people talking about it? Chances are, if you have a smartphone, you’ve taken at least one selfie — and likely with one of the filters many photo sharing apps feature. But Selfie Dysmorphia takes this mostly harmless pastime to a degree that is detrimental — even dangerous. Read on to see if you recognize any of the symptoms.
Why are people talking about Selfie Dysmorphia now?
In the selfie era, many users have gotten so used to relying on these apps to remove any perceived blemishes, that a worrisome trend is emerging at the expense of self-love.
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Exactly what is Selfie Dysmorphia?
Many are even going under the knife, requesting cosmetic procedures that would recreate some of the filter effects in real life (poutier lips, smaller waists, and yes — even bigger eyes).
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Defining the disorder
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Part of a larger issue
If you see yourself in these symptoms, it is a good idea to seek out professional support.
The Symptom: Preoccupation with your appearance to an extreme
Often this fixation centres on:
- Face, such as nose, complexion, wrinkles, acne and other blemishes
-Hair, such as appearance, thinning and baldness
- Skin and vein appearance
- Breast size
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The Symptom: Preoccupation that others are also taking notice of your perceived flaw
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The Symptom: Seeking to “fix” or hide the perceived flaw
Are these behaviours difficult to resist or control (such as constantly checking the mirror or even taking selfies to validate your appearance)?
Do you seek to “erase” or hide this flaw with styling, makeup, clothes, — or in the era of Selfie Dysmorphia — with various photo filters in an extreme way?
Do you have a growing dependence on these filters to feel attractive and acceptable to others and yourself?
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The Symptom: Comparing yourself
Are you constantly seeking to be reassured about your appearance from others and have perfectionist tendencies?
Do you seek out frequent cosmetic procedures but are not satisfied with the results?
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The Symptom: Interference with normal functioning
Are you so preoccupied with your appearance and these feelings that it’s negatively affecting your social life, work, school or other key areas of your life?
This type of disorder does not resolve on its own, so it’s important to seek treatment as it may worsen over time. It can lead to depression, anxiety, extensive medical bills, and worse. If you see yourself in these descriptions, speak to your doctor and seek support. You are not alone.
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Some good news: The #NoFilter movement
While it can be difficult to control all the messaging we are bombarded with on a day-to-day basis, we do have some measure of control in what images we seek out. Rest assured that there is a growing push to embrace natural beauty, in all its lovely variations.
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