Dysmorphophobia – Fear of Deformity
Dysmorphophobia is the Fear of Deformity or of becoming deformed, perhaps through an accident or such like.
It may be a form of Body Dysmorphic Disorder if the associated emotional distress is very high.
It has been suggested that this ‘fear’ may be linked to a ‘natural’ hard-wired Limbic system reaction that is designed to protect the person from potentially damaging genetic material transfer through contact.
Whilst the feared object or situation may seem, to other people, to be ridiculous or silly, the person who suffers from the phobia knows only too well that the Anxiety that they experience is real enough.
We completely understand this and will treat you and your Dysmorphophobia seriously.
It is now widely accepted that our minds are more than capable of producing a real biological reaction to any given situation and so as long as the phobic person “believes” that the object or situation they fear represents danger to them, then they will experience real fear.
The majority of people who do suffer with Dysmorphophobia understand that their fear is “irrational” but continue to experience it regardless of this knowledge.
This is why simply being told to “snap out of it” rarely produces a solution!
Symptoms of Dysmorphophobia
The symptoms of Dysmorphophobia are very similar to other specific phobias and will often include:
- Anger problems
- Generalised Anxiety
- Social anxiety
- Control issues
- Feelings of depression
- Insomnia & sleeping problems
- Low Self-Esteem
- Low Self-Confidence
- Panic attacks
- Overthinking things
- Avoidance and safety behaviours
Dysmorphophobia Symptoms are generally automatic and uncontrollable and can seem to take over a person’s thoughts which frequently leads to extreme measures being taken to avoid the feared object or situation, what are known as “Safety” or “Avoidance” behaviours.
Unfortunately, for the sufferer, these safety behaviours have a paradoxical effect and actually reinforce the phobia rather than solve it!
Dysmorphophobia may be the result of negative emotional experiences that can be either directly or indirectly linked to the object or situational fear.
Over time, the symptoms often become “normalised” and “accepted” as a limiting belief in that person’s life – “I’ve learnt to live with it.”
In just as many cases, Dysmorphophobia may have become worse over time as more and more sophisticated safety behaviours and routines are developed.
The good news is that the vast majority of people who suffer from Dysmorphophobia will find a course of Psychotherapy helps enormously.
Almost every phobia responds well to psychological interventions.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dysmorphophobia
If you’re committed to overcoming your Dysmorphophobia problems then we highly recommend following our Advanced Tranceformental CBT programme with Paul which is available as an Online Therapy as well as a self-directed programme.
The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic psychotherapy course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.
Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an evidence-based, research supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
Self-Help CBT Course for only £149!
Our online self-help CBT course has been designed to teach you the fundamental tools and techniques of clinically proven Cognitive Behavioural Therapy without having to see a therapist.
Structured over TEN, in-depth modules, this course will provide you everything you need to know to change the way you think about and experience your mental health problems from the comfort of your own home.
Click Self-Help CBT to find out more.
Alternative Therapy Options for Dysmorphophobia
Although our preferred form of psychotherapy for Dysmorphophobia is Tranceformental CBT we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.
- Psychodynamic therapy which focuses more on emotional problems and relies on the Therapeutic Relationship to bring about change. Available with Paul.
- General Counselling which is less structured but still provides a safe and non-judgmental environment to discuss issues which is therapeutic in its own right.
- Hypnotherapy is an alternative form of therapy that can be applied to a very wide range of problems and is available with Joan.
Free Initial Consultations for Dysmorphophobia
We offer all prospective clients an initial consultation to discuss your Dysmorphophobia prior to commencing any treatment plans.
The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.
During this consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
Initial consultations are also available as part of our online therapy service.
At TranceForm Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss our change programmes BEFORE proceeding.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
Overcome Your Problems with our CBT Course
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is clinically proven to be effective across a range of different mental health problems.
Using our online learning platform, it is available with 2, 5 or 10 sessions of clinical support either face-to-face in the Wombourne offices, or using Zoom video facilities.
It can also be taken as a self help CBT course that will teach you the fundamental tools and techniques used throughout the mental health profession.