It's not known specifically what causes body dysmorphic disorder. Like many other mental illnesses, body dysmorphic disorder may result from a combination of causes:
- Brain chemical differences. Some evidence suggests that naturally occurring brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, which are linked to mood, may play a role in causing body dysmorphic disorder.
- Structural brain differences. In people who have body dysmorphic disorder, certain areas of the brain may not have developed properly.
- Genes. Some studies show that body dysmorphic disorder is more common in people whose biological family members also have the condition, indicating that there may be a gene or genes associated with this disorder.
- Environment. Your environment, life experiences and culture may contribute to body dysmorphic disorder, especially if they involve negative experiences about your body or self-image.
This is a re-post from something I wrote back in September. I had a great day today, mostly, but I've been very upset by some news I just received, and I think the best idea for me right now is to hibernate. I hate to revert to this, but it's the only way to stop myself from thinking all of the really shitty thoughts I normally think about myself when something happens to someone else that forces me to focus on my shortcomings. Unfortunately, I'm not a bigger person, and my first instincts are to react very childishly and pettily. I'd really like to prevent myself from doing this, so that will be my second reason for taking refuge under the covers.
I guess I don't understand why some people (and that entire family, come to think of it) seem to think that marriage will solves all problems, when it's obviously only been the root of all their problems previously. I highly doubt that I will ever get married. Ever. Anyway, I thought this post was relevant:
I've been thinking about relationships a lot. After my own recent dating experience, it's sort of hard not to be thinking about relationships. I've written about my disdain for the seemingly innate "idea" that's been ingrained in me that my whole purpose in life is to find a mate and settle down and have kids. This idea drives me absolutely crazy!! Literally, it's driving me crazy - I can't stop thinking about it.
Throughout time, men have been notoriously cheating on their "significant" others (and I put significant in quotations because if they really were significant, men wouldn't cheat), and this day and age is no exception. I never thought I'd be so close to someone whose marriage was ruined by adultery. It's almost incomprehensible to me, but I guess for people who were raised by parents to whom cheating was a regular occurrence, to sleep with someone other than your partner in marriage isn't such a stretch. But it's not just adultery that stumps me. Commitment in general is confusing. At 25, the closest I've ever been to getting married is talking about it with my only two serious boyfriends, but I know of enough people that I could count them on two hands that are going on marriage number two that are under age 30. On Friends, Ross was SO stigmatized because of his THREE marriages by his early thirties, but apparently that fiction isn't actually that far off!!
I understand getting hurt. I understand getting back on the horse and healing old wounds and learning to love again. But to make the same mistakes time and time and time again is absolutely inconceivable to me.
I struggled for three and a half YEARS, wasted THREE AND A HALF YEARS of my life hanging onto someone who was only bound to hurt me nearly irreparably, making the same mistakes over and over again with the same person, but in retrospect, I can't imagine doing something like that again, even with several different people. Yet there are so many people I'm aware of in my tiny little world that continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, hoping for a different outcome each time. Is that not the definition of insanity? I'd been told by a therapist once that people often experience some form of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder after the end of a relationship, and I truly believe that. Do some people not experience that?
I'm a year out from the last time I saw my "psychological debris," and about 7 months out from the last time I spoke to him, and I am STILL terrified to get into another relationship with another guy! I am so ridiculously damaged from the last one, that I wouldn't know how to behave in a new one!
The gist of it is this: How can some people get hurt, get screwed, get angry, get cheated on, get dumped, get in and out of relationship after relationship without coming out the other side damaged in some way that prevents them from jumping into yet another relationship with both feet without first taking stock of their past? How can some people selectively remember only the good things? How can some people refuse to learn from their past mistakes, and continue to plague their friends and family by making the same mistakes over and over again? It's one thing to be bitter and negative, but it's entirely another to make an ass out of yourself by dating people who are not right for you time and time again.
Is there no happy medium?
*"Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Causes - MayoClinic.com." Mayo Clinic Medical Information and Tools for Healthy Living - MayoClinic.com. Web. 25 Nov. 2010. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/body-dysmorphic-disorder/DS00559/DSECTION=causes>.