What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

April 21st, 2011

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a condition where sufferers, usually adolescents, spend hours a day worrying that perhaps their skin is scarred, their nose too big, their body too large or their hair is thinning. It’s often dismissed as simple youth and vanity. But researchers at Brown University’s Body Dysmorphic Disorder Centre in Providence Rhode Island, say BDD is anything but trivial.

People with BDD will shun social contact, miss school, avoid dating and even visit plastic surgeons as a result of their condition.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder Warning Signs

There are several symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, including:

* Excessive grooming
* Compulsive mirror checking
* Excessive dieting
* Measuring or frequently touching the perceived defect

Marshall Robinson, a research assistant at the BDD Centre says the condition is often misdiagnosed – mistaken for other disorders like social phobia or agoraphobia.

“A lot of people do tend to treat it like subset of OCD,” says Robinson. “In fact, it has more in common with depression.”

The treatments that appear most effective are cognitive-behavioral therapy and promising medications include serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft.


         

When is Hoarding a Mental Health Issue?

April 21st, 2011

Ever wondered if that pile of junk you’re hoarding is indicative of a bigger problem?

Having an ever-growing in-box, an eclectic collection of decades old shoes or drawers full of pens that don’t work is one thing. But if you’ve got whole rooms literally stuffed full of possessions, you may have a problem with cluttering or hoarding.

Declutter Your Life

Declutter Your Life

DSM-IV associates hoarding with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder and defines it as an inability to discard worthless or worn-out things, though they have no sentimental value. But in the textbook Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, Practical Management (Third Edition 1998 – Harvard University Press), Dr. Randy Frost suggests that hoarders do develop a strong attachment to their possessions and also actively acquire them.

“For example,” writes Dr. Frost, “one of our study participants bought and kept more than 30 bottles of shampoo; if her hoard fell below that number, she felt compelled to buy more. Another participant had rooms full of ‘gifts’ that she had purchased over several decades. She did not know to whom she would give them, but they were ‘good buys’ that she couldn’t pass up.”

Dr. Frost’s research suggests hoarding is more closely related to OCD – and it’s difficult to treat.

Case studies suggest hoarders respond to cognitive behavioural therapy when the notion of discarding items is gradually introduced and issues like perfectionism, need for control and fear of decision making are examined.

Detox Footpads

December 19th, 2010

Detox Footpads are the latest craze for the cleansing crowd. Less icky than a colonic and less dangerous than, say, ear candling, the detox footpad is just that – a pad that you stick on the bottom of your feet at night. The pads claim to draw out toxins while you sleep.  Through the bottom of your feet. Sound too good to be true? Natch.

detox foot pads

detox foot pads

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