What is body dysmorphic disorder?
What are the symptoms of BDD?
- Constantly comparing your appearance to other people’s
- Spending a lot of time in front of the mirror or at other times avoiding mirrors altogether
- Spending a lot of time concealing what is seen to be a defect
- Becoming distressed by a particular area of your body (or face)
- Feeling anxious when around other people and avoiding social situations
- Being overly worried about asking for help out of fear you’ll be seen as vain or self obsessed
- Seeking treatment for the perceived “defect” e.g. cosmetic surgery
- Excessive dieting and exercise
Although BDD is not the same as OCD, there are some similarities, such as the repetition of compulsive behaviours. BDD can also lead to depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
Frequently asked questions
When should I get help for body dysmorphic disorder?
Which treatments are most effective for body dysmorphic disorder?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Schema Therapy are generally the most effective therapeutic approaches for body dysmorphic disorder. Sometimes mindfulness techniques can also be helpful, alongside DBT skills.
Is there anything I can do to manage Body Dysmorphic Disorder on my own?
Mindfulness techniques can be helpful to draw upon in moments that you’re feeling triggered and experiencing intensely negative feelings about your body. Breathing techniques can also help, as well as developing the capacity to act opposite to the urge to check your body, instead sitting with the anxiety until it subsides.