What is Body Dysmorphic DisorderFind Out What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Many people struggle with body image issues including how they feel about their bodies and the way in which they perceive their bodies to appear. However, those suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder have an especially complicated and complex relationship with body image.

People suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder are fixated on a certain perceived flaw and how others recognize this perceived flaw.  Those with BDD are constantly and continuously uncomfortable with their appearance to a point where their ability to perform daily life activities, socialize with others, and work is often compromised (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2013).

Potential Symptoms of BDD

The Mayo Clinic Staff (2013) also lists the following as potential symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder: “Preoccupation with your physical appearance with extreme self-consciousness, Frequent examination of yourself in the mirror, or the opposite, avoidance of mirrors altogether, Strong belief that you have an abnormality or defect in your appearance that makes you ugly, Belief that others take special notice of your appearance in a negative way, Avoidance of social situations, Feeling the need to stay housebound, The need to seek reassurance about your appearance from others, Frequent cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction, Excessive grooming, such as hair plucking or skin picking, or excessive exercise in an unsuccessful effort to improve the flaw, The need to grow a beard or wear excessive makeup or clothing to camouflage perceived flaws, Comparison of your appearance with that of others.”

It is unclear of what causes BDD. However, there may be certain factors that contribute to BDD. These risk factors may include having a family member with BDD, societal pressure to look a certain way, and experiences during childhood such as bullying (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2013).

Living with BDD

Living with BDD can be very difficult for those affected as well as their friends and family members. People with BDD may benefit from working with mental health professions who are specially trained in working with this disorder.  There are also support groups available. Additionally, mental health professions can work with family and friends to better understand this disorder and its complications. This can allow family and friends to recognize how they can best support the individual with BDD.

Seeking help from a mental health professional can be challenging for those suffering from BDD.  However, these specialized professionals can help individuals with BDD learn techniques and skills to cope with the challenges of Body Dysmorphic Disorder as well as support the practice of body acceptance.



Mayo Clinic Staff. (2013, May 9).  Disease and Conditions Body dysmorphic disorder.