Men equally face modern day pressures to stay invested in their appearance and adhere to cultural norms of what is promoted as attractive. Society may promote the male body ideal to be lean and muscular whereas for women the ideal body is promoted by the media as thin. Modern advertising has increasingly targeted men to become more invested in their appearance with more male orientated grooming products. This may lead to the development of a level of dissatisfaction with the body possibly leading to the development of low self-esteem and Body or Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder. Body Dysmorphic Disorder affects both men and women and is an anxiety disorder where the individual worries excessively about their appearance or a specific aspect of their appearance. They may have a distorted idea of how they look and will compare themselves to others which will cause a level of distress. BDD can cause a preoccupation with appearance, weight, shape or size of the body or a specific part of the body.
Signs of Body Dysmorphic Disorder
- Excessive worrying about an aspect of appearance e.g. face
- Spending time thinking about and worrying over appearance
- Altering appearance a lot in order to change it and stop worrying over it
- The level of worry and thoughts on appearance start to impact on daily life and relationships
- Seeking reassurance from close others on their appearance
Treatment will always be individually tailored to suits the needs of each person.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT will be used to address and challenge negative thinking patterns and beliefs. These will be focused on and challenged in order to help develop a healthier and more positive relationship with their body. Other areas of work will often focus on reduction of reassurance seeking behaviours, body checking behaviours, building distress tolerance and emotional regulation work.
Other models used may be: Compassion Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness and Cognitive Analytic Techniques.