The disease that made Megan Fox hate her body

AMERICA Dubbed a Hollywood beauty, Megan Fox always feels ugly because she has body deformity syndrome.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition. Patients often have an obsession with appearance defects that others cannot recognize. In their eyes, even small bodily problems can cause low self-esteem, sadness, and stress.

"I can't see myself the way other people see me," the 37-year-old beauty shared in an interview with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2023. She also opened up about her mental illness in the past.

This syndrome has many similarities with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which causes long-term suffering. A typical form of BDD is an obsessive muscular disorder, which usually affects men.

BDD damages people's mental health and self-esteem. Many patients struggle daily with feelings of anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. They become reclusive, having difficulty in everyday relationships.

According to Ramani Durvasula, a clinical psychologist at California State University, body dysmorphic disorder is different from binge eating disorder, a weight-obsessed condition that often leads to extreme diet and exercise behaviors. group.

The concerns of people with BDD often do not come from existing problems such as scars, height or being overweight. The impairments are sometimes very small compared to the amount of distress and anxiety it causes, Dr. Durvasula explains. This is why many people with excellent looks still feel self-deprecating.


According to experts at the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, there is no specific cause for BDD. The disease usually affects about one in 50 Americans, with an equal incidence in men and women.

The disorder usually appears during the teenage years, a time especially difficult for young people because of the many changes in the body.

In some cases, the disease has a genetic predisposition, says Ann Kearney-Cooke, a psychologist in Cincinnati. In other cases, the disorder is triggered by a negative childhood experience, such as abuse, neglect or bullying. The patient has since become sensitive to defects in appearance.

Culture is also a causative factor. According to Ms. Kearney-Cooke, perfectionism causes some people to increase their self-obsession. The disease cannot be cured by itself, cannot be treated, and its severity increases over time.

Actress Megan Fox on Glamor magazine. Photo: Glamor


Symptoms vary from person to person, but a prominent symptom is a constant preoccupation with an appearance defect. This causes the patient to have obsessive behaviors such as looking in the mirror for a long time, taking many pictures with the phone to self-assess defects. They often feel confused, embarrassed or try to cover up their problems, seek reassurance and compare themselves to others. This becomes more severe in the age of social media.

In addition to the psychological harm, the disorder can cause financial damage. In many cases, patients decide to have cosmetic surgery, participate in expensive dermatological courses, and undergo dental interventions. According to experts, this behavior temporarily reduces suffering. However, the obsessive feelings persist, building up over time, causing the needs to increase. Since then, patients continue to seek medical services to help change their appearance as a vicious cycle.


There is currently no universal test to diagnose the disease. Suspected people can talk to a medical professional or a psychologist for a more accurate assessment.

According to Dr. Durvasula, doctors often consider whether a person's obsessions or concerns are affecting their lives, causing "bad social and professional impact".

"For example, some people spend so much time or money worrying about their appearance that they can't go to school or don't have a job. They don't socialize with friends, they no longer have social connections." Durvasula said.

BDD is treatable, but not completely curable. Treatment options vary for each patient, but doctors often recommend a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication.

"We're trying to teach people how to identify what's on their mind, how they fight their biases," Kearney-Cooke says.

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