How Does Social Media Worsen Body Image Issues?

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The logo of mobile app Snapchat. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)
The logo of mobile app Snapchat. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)

"Do you think about your appearance a lot and wish you could think about it less? Does it upset you a lot? Has it caused you problems with work, or your school, or relationships? Are there things you avoid because of your appearance?"

Dr. Neelam Vashi, an associate professor of dermatology at Boston University, asks these questions of her patients when evaluating whether they suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).

Now, a growing body of evidence suggests social media and technology have become intertwined with BDD patients' symptoms and rituals.

There's even a new term — "Snapchat dysmorphia" -- that's been coined to describe the connection between social media and the psychiatric disorder.


Carey Goldberg, host of WBUR's CommonHealth, which tweets @commonhealth.

This segment aired on January 28, 2019.


Headshot of Deborah Becker

Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.


Headshot of Carey Goldberg

Carey Goldberg Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.


Headshot of Eve Zuckoff

Eve Zuckoff Freelance Producer, Radio Boston
Eve Zuckoff was a freelance producer for Radio Boston.



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