Body dysmorphic disorder
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental disorder which manifests itself as wrong perception of one's body. It is attributed to people who have sever distortion in the way they perceive their body and looks. People with BDD are normal looking and often exceptionally good looking, however they think of themselves as extremely ugly, sometimes to the extent of totally avoiding interaction with others.
Skin picking and BDD are closely related in that people having theses disorders are very shy about themselves, often avoid contact with others around them, and usually are reluctant about turning for help.
The two disorders share the following symptoms (taken from a wikipedia article):
- Compulsive mirror checking
- Compulsive skin-touching, to measure or feel the perceived defect
- Social withdrawal
In addition, 73% of those having BDD are concerned specifically with their skin.
A somewhat both intriguing and disturbing aspect of the body dysmorphic disorder is that an exceptioanlly high percentage of people suffering from it attempt to commit suicide. Completed suicide rates in people with BDD is 45 times higher than in the general population of the US.