Does Sarah Michelle Gellar Really Have Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
"Oh God...I'm a female!" exclaimed Sarah Michelle Gellar in an interview for Health magazine when she was asked if she has insecurities. "I totally have body dysmorphic disorder. I think most women do."
Gellar's remarks have made more than a few bloggers and blog readers wonder whether the Ringer star wasn't over-qualifying her more or less normal insecurities—and if she was, then she shouldn't be making light of a serious condition.
Do Gellar and "most women" really suffer from BDD, a psychological disorder in which their obsession with an imagined flaw can cause severe depression and anxiety?
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"I have yet to work with someone with untreated BDD who will openly talk about it to the media or in public," Arie Winograd, therapist and director of the Los Angeles BDD & Body Image Clinic, tells E! News. "There is profound shame surrounding this disorder. That is why it was thought to be uncommon—because people with BDD don't talk about it. They'll be in treatment for other things and not talk to their clinician about it because there's so much shame.
"It's different when someone has been through treatment and recovered," he adds. "They then might come out and talk about it when they are in remission."
A rep for Gellar has not yet returned a request for comment or clarification on the actress' remarks.
Winograd explains, "Body dysmorphic disorder is a severe psychiatric condition that affects men and woman equally. It's when a person becomes preoccupied with an area of their appearance that they believe is misshapen, ugly, or somehow defective. It's a preoccupation with a defect. They're not able to stop obsessing about the area of their body that they believe is supposedly defected."
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"This is definitely not vanity, not narcissism or narcissistic personality disorder," Winograd adds. "Also, this is not a media phenomenon and it's not a Hollywood phenomenon."
Gellar told Health that she usually doesn't even look in the mirror when she's in the hair and makeup chair.
"So every once in a while, I'll look and I'll be like, 'Wait, that's what I look like?' I just have to remember that I'm human, and I'm a mom," the mother of 2-year-old Charlotte Grace said. "Being a parent changes the vanity at least a little bit. It has to. Your priorities are different."
Now that she's a mom, she said, "I'm not as critical as I used to be about my body. And it's also funny, too, how women perceive women, and how men perceive women. Because a woman will look at the skinniest person and think that's the most attractive, and a man will not think that's attractive at all!"
Wrote commenter Kelly Gowdy on Us Weekly's site in response to the interview: "I love SMG but she is making light of something that is a disease. "She's acting like every woman has it and that just isn't true. She's completely exaggerating and making light of something serious, just to show how 'humble' she is. And I do think she is but celebrities go to such lengths to be seen as 'real people' and sometimes they say things in bad taste."
"Body dysmorphic disorder is not something every woman has and if she hasnt been diagnosed with this condition then she shouldnt throw it around," wrote Kim on The Daily Mail's site. "Its alot more serious then just being upset sometimes with how you look."
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