AND TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Frontal lobe head trauma may cause changes
in how patients perceive their appearance.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental illness that causes a person to be obsessively focused on a perceived flaw in their appearance. A person with BDD may be so preoccupied with the appearance of their body that they cannot lead a normal life and may be overcome with feelings of self-hate and dissatisfaction. They may spend an excessive amount of time each day worrying about how they look, so much so that they neglect their daily responsibilities. Suicidal thoughts may also be a symptom. Some behaviors that may accompany this disorder include a person constantly checking themselves in the mirror, avoiding social activities
have shown that individuals with BDD have deficiencies in this area. In one study of verbal and nonverbal memory — including visual organization strategies — subjects were asked to copy and recall a complicated figu e drawing. The BDD group recalled more specific parts of the drawin instead of the overall structure, which may reflect poo organizational strategies marked by an imbalance in local (detail) and global information processing. Another study using the same test found impaired copying and recall in individuals with BDD. There was also evidence of impaired visual working memory as well as auditory, verbal and logical memory.
“THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT PHYSICAL DAMAGE TO THE BRAIN CAN CAUSE
COGNITIVE, EMOTIONAL, AND BEHAVIORAL ISSUES. RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT
THE SPECIFIC AREA OF THE BRAIN AFFECTED BY TBI TRANSLATES DIRECTLY TO THE
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS A PATIENT MAY EXPERIENCE.”
– Dr. Rod Amiri, MD, Neuropsychiatrist
and even having cosmetic surgery to correct perceived flaws New research has started to identify abnormal areas and connections in the brain in hopes of developing biomarkers or brain correlates that can help identify those at risk for developing BDD, and medical research is beginning to make connections between the disorder and frontal lobe brain damage. Trauma or injury to the frontal lobe of the brain can cause a wide range of problems and changes to your personality due to the frontal lobe’s role in shaping social behavior and personal characteristics. It controls things such as personality, decision making, motivation and voluntary movements. The frontal lobe is also responsible for memory, and studies
Individuals with BDD also tend to do poorly in tasks related to decision-making, specifically those involving planning, inhibition or organization, pointing again to the frontal lobe. One study found that compared to healthy controls, those with BDD made more errors on a search task, demonstrating deficits in working memor . They also were slower on a task measuring planning ability and exhibited higher risk-taking behavior in a decision-making experiment. Based on these studies, the connection between frontal lobe abnormality and BDD is clear. However, because of the complexity of the disorder, future research is necessary to understand the exact combiniation of factors that lead to BDD.