There's a new medical condition called BDD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder. It shows up in people who are obsessed with plastic surgery. Researchers at UCLA are finding that there may be a biological reason for their distorted self image.
Dr. Jamie Feusner and his team at UCLA have been studying the brains of people with BDD and they've found that those patients use the left side of the brain, which is the highly analytical, detail oriented side to process photos of themselves. In contrast, healthy people use the right side of the brain to view their own images less critically. Dr. Feusner, a UCLA assistant professor of psychiatry, says, "This is not just a Los Angeles disorder or just a United States problem. This exists in every country it's been studied." He also says, "What it suggests is that people with BDD are processing all images as if they were high detail, even for images that don't have detail in them." Dr. Feusner says they can look at the brain images of BDD patients see the big picture that leads to obsessive compulsive behavior, including multiple plastic surgeries.
Feusner estimates that up to 15% of cosmetic surgery patients suffer from BDD. Now, researchers at UCLA are hoping their studies will lead to better treatment and relief for the millions who suffer from distorted self-images worldwide. The studies are continuing, if you think you, or someone you know, may have this disorder, you can email Dr. Feusner at UCLA at www.jfeusnermednet.ucla.edu .