Body Image Obsession Can Be Serious Brain Issue, UCLA Says
Allen Skyy / Flickr
People who can't pass a mirror without checking themselves out and then obsess over any little blemish or out-of-place hair have a name: Angelenos!
No, really, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is what describes folks with extreme self-image problems. And UCLA researchers recently discovered that it's all in their head. Literally:
They conducted brain scans on 14 adults who have the disorder and discovered abnormalities called "clustering" as well as bad neural connections in areas of the brain involving visual input and emotion, according to the school.
UCLA associate professor of psychiatry Jamie Feusner and his team published the findings in the May issues of Neuropsychopharmacology.
According to a summary of the research:
Ivan Marianelli / Flickr
People suffering from BDD tend to fixate on minute details, such as a single blemish on their face or body, rather than viewing themselves in their entirety. They become so distressed with their appearance that they often can't lead normal lives, are fearful of leaving their homes and occasionally even commit suicide.
UCLA says more people suffer from BDD disorder than from bipolar disorder. Feusner:
Their brains seem to be fine-tuned to be very sensitive to process minute details, but this pattern may not allow their brains to be well-synchronized across regions with different functions ... These abnormal brain networks could relate to how they perceive, feel and behave. This is significant because it could possibly lead to us being able to identify early on if someone is predisposed to developing this problem.
Of course, if scholars figure this out, it could kill the plastic surgery and beauty industries.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.
- Kabbalah Centre and Its Former Rabbi to the Stars to Pay $177,500 in Sexual Battery Suit
Sun., Nov. 29, 4:00pm
Sun., Nov. 29, 6:30pm
Mon., Nov. 30, 7:00pm
Mon., Nov. 30, 7:30pm
- Bicycle Is Returned to Child, but Alleged Bully Bike Thief Is Still On the Loose
- Thanksgiving Travelers Will Enjoy Lowest Gas Prices Since Early 2009