Living with Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Lea Walker with Janet Lee
By: Khadija Brown-Haywood
MWF 11:00 – 11:50
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), also known as dysmorphophobia, is a severe psychiatric disorder that occurs around the world. BDD is also defined as a syndrome characterized by an excessive preoccupation because of a presumed or minimal physical flaw in appearance that polarizes the energies of the subject. It is important to recognize and diagnose BDD, because this disorder is relatively common and causes significant distress. It is also associated with markedly poor quality of life. Although research on effective treatment is still limited, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) are currently considered the medication treatment of choice. For symptoms to improve, a relatively high SRI dose and at least 12 weeks of treatment is often needed. The psychosocial treatment of choice is cognitive behavioral therapy. Although knowledge of BDD is rapidly increasing, further research is needed on all aspects of this disorder, including treatment studies, epidemiology studies, and investigation of its cross-cultural features and pathogenesis. Steiner, H. (2011)
Keywords: Body dysmorphic disorder, dysmorphophobia, delusional disorder, somatoform disorder
What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
“In the 1970s and ‘80s anorexia was now recognised, but dysmorphia has only been recognised in the last few years in the media. Even now people say ‘what is BDD?’” Walker, L., & Lee, J. (2010) Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental illness in which a person cannot stop thinking about a flaw with their appearance. “Instead I had the pressures of gaining weight, losing weight, changing body shape and getting wrinkles” Walker, L., & Lee, J. (2010). Some BDD symptoms include skin picking, excessive grooming, avoidance of mirrors, refusal to appear in pictures, and extreme self-consciousness. “Dysmorphia is not just wanting...
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