Do Anorexic Have Body Dysmorphia

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder causing people to obsess about weight and what they eat. It is characterised by a distorted body image, with an unwarranted fear of being overweight.

People with Body Dysmorphia are also obsessed with their appearance, thinking that they look abnormal or deformed, when in fact they look normal. If we consider body image disturbance to be the fundamental problem in anorexia.

According to the psychiatrist, they said that it has obsessions and repetitive behaviors of BDD (such as mirror checking and grooming) and has debated its relationship to OCD.

Common features between Anorexia nervosa and Body Dysmorphia

Body dysmorphic disorder causes people to become overly concerned with outward appearance and perceived flaws. It may be seen in people with eating disorders, but is a distinctly different issue.

This obsession isn’t better explained as a symptom of anorexia nervosa (although some people may be diagnosed with both).

BDD shares some common features with anorexia include:

People with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa and those with body dysmorphic disorder may both be overly concerned with their size, shape, weight, or outward appearance.

Those with BDD may even fixate on areas of their bodies that are similar to fixations seen in anorexia nervosa, such as the waist, hips, or thighs.

They may also experience similar symptoms such as body checking like frequent weighing or checking mirrors and excessive exercise.

Researchers found 12% of people with body dysmorphic disorder also have anorexia nervosa.

However, it is important to note that not everyone with body dysmorphic disorders (BDD) has an eating disorder. There are people with body dysmorphic disorder who focus solely on specific body parts like the shape of their nose, eyes, or lips. That’s different from focusing on weight.

The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines the criteria for a diagnosis of body dysmorphic disorder. BDD is not classified as an eating disorder in the DSM-5.

The DSM-5 lists the following diagnostic criteria:

Preoccupation with one or more perceived defects in appearance that are not noticeable to others and are not truly disfigured.

At some point, the person who is suffering has repetitive actions or thoughts in response to the concerns. This may be something like continuously comparing their appearance to that of others, mirror checking, or skin picking.

This obsession causes distress and problems in a person’s social, workplace, or other areas of life.


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