What exactly is Snapchat dysmorphia and how can you tell if you suffer from it? Lately, more and more people are being diagnosed with this disease. It’s closely related to social networks like Snapchat or Instagram. And patients are mostly young people who take dozens of selfies each day.
Snapchat dysmorphia is just a new variant of the Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), a disease which is anything but new. BDD patients become obsessed about their body image. And when they look at themselves in the mirror, all they see is an enormous bunch of defects. These are usually imperceptible to others. But those who suffer BDD are unable to perceive their real image correctly.
Snapchat dysmorphia triggers an obsession about the imperfections and defects in the face. Patients (mostly teenagers) are so used to seeing themselves in filtered selfies that they do not recognize their real face when they see it. As a result, they desperately seek to undergo plastic surgery to “fix” their real faces and look more like their selfies.
Most Snapchat or Instagran filters change our faces, making them look pretty unrealistic. Most filters excessively smooth the skin, raise the cheekbones and open the eyes dramatically until people look more like toys.
Experts agree: undergoing plastic surgery to look more like the filtered version of ourselves won’t solve the problem. More on the contrary, it’ll only make things worse. The right thing to do, they say, is look for psychological help. Because we must keep in mind that Snapchat dysmorphia is a mental condition, after all. And patients need to stop obsessing about their defects and accept their real selves.
How to know if you suffer from Snapchat dysmorphia?
What triggers the problem is an obsessive and incorrect use of social networks. Scientific studies in the UK have proved that when teenagers spend more than 3 hours per day using Instagram or other networks, the probabilities of suffering from a mental disorder increase.
When young people start using Snapchat or Instagram, they tend to compare themselves obsessively to others. This is the first step, according to psychologists, towards Snapchat dysmorphia.
Patients start feeling discomfort and intolerance about their real image. It gets worse and worse. Until, finally, they only like and accept themselves as they appear in their filtered selfies.
Snapchar dysmorphia becomes a more serious condition when one’s obsession with one’s defects begins to pose a problem in real life. Hanging out with other people is seen as a threat, because patients feel they will be rejected because of the way the look. That’s when they desperately try to change their real face so that it adapts to the virtual one.
Nose, lips and cheekbones are the first parts of the face with which dysmorphic patients feel deeply dissatisfied. If you feel identified with some of these symptoms and suffer from anxiety and depression when you see your face in the mirror, you should go to a psychologist, and not a surgeon.