How social media contributes to body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental health disorder that involves an obsession with self-image. If you find yourself obsessing over your flaws or appearance, to the extent where you’re embarrassed to go out in public, you may be suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Here’s more.

Social media and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

Social media is a huge contributor to Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Our Instagram and Facebook timelines are filled with people presenting themselves in the best way. It exposes us to images of “idealised” body types and makes us compare ourselves to others. When you’re constantly exposed to this “perfect reality”, you can easily end up creating an unrealistic image of yourself based on what you see, and may even feel distressed when you’re not able to meet those expectations.

Remember Choma, this isn’t reality. Photo editing and filters are often used to clean-up or retouch photos before they’re posted. Excessive use of photo editing and filters influence what we perceive is ‘the best way to look’. 

Getting diagnosed

Body Dysmorphic Disorder can only be diagnosed by a mental health professional, if you feel like you are suffering from BDD, it’s advised that you see a healthcare provider. If you find yourself becoming more self-conscious because of social media, here’s what you can do.

Take a break 

If you find yourself feeling down after scrolling through social media, consider taking a break from it for a while. There’s no harm in taking a social media break once in a while. This will not only give you time to focus more on school or work, but it’s also good for your mental health.

Unfollow accounts that don’t make you feel good

Pay attention to the accounts or pages that affect your self-esteem or make you feel down. If you feel triggered by someone’s social media account, there’s no harm in unfollowing them. It’s important to create a healthy social media environment for yourself. 

Create a supportive social media environment

Follow pages or accounts that make you feel inspired rather than demotivated or unhappy. There are a lot of positive pages and support groups that can help shift your mindset about “ideal” body types and lifestyles.

It’s very easy to become consumed by social media and admire the things we see when scrolling through our timelines. Just remember that what we see online, is not always reality. If you find yourself feeling down or depressed because of social media, you may need to re-evaluate your social media community.

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

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