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Body dysmorphic disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental disorder characterized by a preoccupation with a perceived defect in one's appearance. Body dysmorphic disorder is also called BDD.

Types of Concerns

Any body part can be the focus of concern. Individuals with body dysmorphic disorder frequently are preoccupied with their facial characteristics. Patients may worry about their hair or skin. People with facial or skin concerns pick at their skin. Some patients have concerns involving body symmetry. Some worry that they are not muscular enough or that they are small and weak. Most of these concerns are imaginary, but if a slight “defect” is in fact present the concern is regarded as overly excessive.

Characteristics of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Some common characteristics of body dysmorphic disorder are:

  • spending at least one hour a day thinking about their perceived appearance flaws
  • repetitively check their minor or imagined flaw in mirrors.
  • going to great lengths to avoid mirrors.
  • attempting to hide the defect with make-up, sunglasses, clothing, etc.
  • excessive grooming behaviors

Complications of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Some complications of body dysmorphic disorder are:

Can Body Dysmorphic Disorder be Treated?

Yes. Some common forms of treatment include cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or medication. If left untreated, body dysmorphic disorder can lead to hospitalizations and suicide.


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