Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) has received the most research to date of the new classiciation of obsessive-compulsive related disorders. People with body dysmorphic disorder are preoccupied with the belief that they have a particular body defect or flaw. In reality, the perceived flaw is usually imagined or greatly exaggerated in the person’s mind. (APA, 2013, 2012)

People with this disorder obsessively check their appearance in the mirror, groom themselves, pick at the perceived flaw, seek reassurance from and compare themselves to others, and often experience considerable distress or impairment.

Not Just About the Face

Researchers have found that most individuals with this disorder focus on wrinkles, spots on their skin, excessive facial hair, or a misshapen nose, mouth, jaw or eyebrow. (Week et al., 2012; Marques et al., 2011) Some people worry about the appearance of other parts of their body; from the size and shape of their feet to the color of their hair, or their body shape.

It is common in today’s society to be concerned about our image, especially with the constant bombardment of television ads for beauty enhancement products and cosmetic procedures. Many teenagers and young adults worry about acne and any number of body features – from lips, to breasts, to eyelids.

When it Becomes Serious

The concerns of people with body dysmorphic disorder are often so extreme that they limit interaction with other people, avoid eye contact with strangers or actually conceal their perceived flaw. As many as half the people with this disorder seek surgery or dermatology treatments and often feel worse afterward. (McKay et al., 2008) A large number of sufferers are housebound and more than ten percent may attempt suicide. (Buhlmann et al., 2010; Phillips et al., 1993), Psychology for Dummies by Adam Cash, PsyD, 2013.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you into improving your life.
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