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Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Suicide

By HERWriter Guide
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body dysmorphic disorder may lead to suicide iStockphoto/Thinkstock

I was reading an article recently about a father who walked over 500 miles in memory of his son, Nathaniel Asselin. His son had committed suicide at the age of 24, due to a battle with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) that lasted more than half his young life.

His dad, Denis Asselin, is stopping by his son's favorite places as well as giving talks in the hospitals and other centers where his son sought help for his mental condition.

He wants to bring awareness to this little known medical condition that is linked to obsessive compulsive disorder. His journey is called Walking With Nathaniel.

EmpowHER via womenshealth.gov describes BDD as "... a serious illness in which a person is preoccupied with minor or imaginary physical flaws, usually of the skin, hair, and nose. A person with BDD tends to have cosmetic surgery, and even if the surgery is successful, does not think it was and is unhappy with the outcome."

"Being preoccupied with minor or imaginary physical flaws, usually of the skin, hair, and nose, such as acne, scarring, facial lines, marks, pale skin, thinning hair, excessive body hair, large nose, or crooked nose" are just some of the possible symptoms of BDD.

"Having a lot of anxiety and stress about the perceived flaw and spending a lot of time focusing on it, such as frequently picking at skin, excessively checking appearance in a mirror, hiding the imperfection, comparing appearance with others, excessively grooming, seeking reassurance from others about how they look, and getting cosmetic surgery."


Cosmetic surgery often becomes an obsession with those living with BDD and they are often very temporarily satisfied with the outcome , but soon after find other "flaws" or mistakes made and look into further surgeries.

It's imperative that plastic surgeons carefully evaluate the patients mental health as much as their physical health since sufferers of BDD are noted for their endless plastic surgeries and inability to view themselves as they really are.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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