People who suffer from body dysmorphic disorder exhibit certain symptoms. Some of these include social isolation, seeking surgery, camouflaging (trying to hide their perceived flaw with clothes, makeup, etc.), and comparing body parts to other peoples appearances (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Regina first thought the small bump on her nose was a monumental flaw that had to be corrected. Without that fix, she became socially isolated and wore clothes (giant sweatshirts and hoodies) that would cover up this perceived imperfection. Furthermore, Regina couldn’t face “normal” looking people. She compared herself to others and deemed herself a “hag.” Everyone else was so much better looking and she was too ugly to be seen in public. After her surgery she began to act normal again, but only for a short while. Soon after she thought her forehead was rife with “worry lines.” She begged her parents to pay for more plastic surgery, which they declined. She even went to great lengths and opened a credit card account to pay for the surgery. Now Regina is in the unfortunate position of not being able to keep up with all her bills. Even after all that, she’s still obsessive and has started to skip college classes. All of this due to her “appalling” wrinkles on her forehead (which others do...
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...things they found positive and attractive about her appearance. I would try to introduce her to positive things (such as small social outing with friends and family) to try and get her to change how she responds around others. Slowly, I would introduce Regina back to her college campus and try to show her that it’s only her way of thinking that is causing her disorder (since no one else can see her flaws). My main goal of treatment is to get Regina away from her harmful thoughts and see her in a positive light. Cognitive therapy is all about changing thoughts and emotional responses. Hopefully though repeated effort and altering her thoughts to positive ones, Regina could begin to recover.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
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