Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) – Clinical Features and Management – Treating Imagined Ugliness By Prof David Castle

Posted on:April 25, 2018
Last Updated: August 26, 2020
Time to read: 8 minutes

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is an oft under-recognised psychiatric disorder which can have dreadful outcomes for patients, including social isolation, lack of work and relationships, as well a high risk of depression and suicide.

BDD is characterised by an overconcern with physical appearance such that an appearance ideal becomes the overwhelming and all-pervasive concern.

If there is a small objectively identifiable cosmetic problem, the BDD patient has a view of it that is both distorted and catastrophic; more often there is no objective cosmetic problem at all, yet the patient ‘sees’ the problem and cannot accept that others cannot. This is not mere vanity, nor are people with BDD attention-seeking: rather, they tend to be ashamed, reclusive and have low self-worth.