Teen Body Dysmorphic Disorder Treatment

Teen Body Dysmorphic Disorder Description

Teen Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a mental illness in which teens suffer from a persistent, fearful belief that they have a physical deformity of some kind, and/or that they look very ugly or deformed in some way, when nothing of the sort actually exists. Teens can become so preoccupied by their misconception of how they look that it causes them serious anxiety and can cause them to want to withdraw from others, which leads to disruptions in multiple areas of teens’ lives.


Teen Body Dysmorphic Disorder Symptoms

It’s common for teens with Body Dysmorphic Disorder to have an obsession with a particular body part that they believe is ugly, such as their hair, eyes, or nose. This obsessive belief persists, regardless of the fact that no one else can see the imagined deformity. The teens experience so much stress and shame about the “deformed” body part that they make considerable efforts to hide it from others and/or mask or remedy it somehow. The belief of this deformity provokes extreme anxiety that causes teens to obsess over it, which can lead to other symptoms of anxiety and depression. Because the deformity is completely fictional and only exists in their minds, it’s common for teens to feel very isolated and alone during this time.


Teen Body Dysmorphic Disorder Treatment

During our Teen Body Dysmorphic Disorder treatment at Paradigm San Francisco, we work with teens to explore what kinds of deeper emotional factors and thought patterns are present, which are causing teens to have such anxiety and stress. We want to help teens to move past just thinking about and fretting over the imagined deformity and instead, begin processing the kinds of feelings and thought they have about themselves, and why some of those extremely low feelings of self-worth might be present. By helping teens to examine and address the deeper emotional underpinnings of their condition, we can help them to gradually regain relief from the disorder, as well as the overwhelming feelings of anxiety they’ve been experiencing.

While supporting teens to do this exploratory work in talk therapy sessions, we also help teens to learn and implement new positive practices and behaviors that will support an improved sense of self and identity. The particular practices will look different according to the individual teen, but may include things such as:

  • regular exercise routines
  • Yoga Therapy
  • Equine Therapy
  • Recreational Therapy
  • Drama Therapy

What we’ve seen is by helping teens to incorporate new positive practices into their lives, they become better equipped to navigate the stressors and challenges, moving forward.


Paradigm San Francisco

At Paradigm San Francisco, we provide residential teen treatment for all Eating Disorders, including Teen Body Dysmorphic Disorder Treatment. Usually within our treatment programs at Paradigm San Francisco, we incorporate a number of different approaches and sessions, including individual daily therapy sessions, peer and family group sessions, and a number of artistic/Exploratory techniques as well.