Body Dysmorphic Disorder

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The thought about our appearance will never leave our side. Thinking about the flaws in our physical appearance is common among individuals. The problem starts when thinking disburses our mental health.  

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is linked with human mental health conditions. The person with BDD indulges in thinking about the flaws in their physical appearance. Despite the flaws being minor, they get upset by thinking about it repeatedly. Over time, thinking becomes excessive and causes a disturbance in their social life.  

BDD patients have an inferiority complex that makes them think of themselves as ugly. People with BDD may find it hard to control their negative thoughts.  

What causes Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

Body Dysmorphic disorder is a mental health disorder. The causes of BDD are unknown. It is believed that BDD is common in people who suffer from other mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.  

In BDD, the brain’s thinking process is affected, which makes people constantly think about their flaws. This happens even though the flaws are not visible to other eyes. Bullying or traumatic events during childhood can also start this disorder.  

Studies state that Genetic conditions can cause BDD. As mentioned, some factors can trigger Body Dysmorphic disorder. People who have obsessive-compulsive disorder will develop the risk of BDD.  

What are the symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

There is quite a difference between worrying and caring about oneself. There are high possibilities that caring often can lead to the wrong side and change into worrying. Body Dysmorphic Disorder is common in both adults and children. BDD affects people mentally and physically.  

  • Constant checking or avoiding the mirror
  • Caring for physical appearance
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Neglecting social interactions
  • Not leaving the house
  • Self-consciousness about physical appearance
  • Trying to cover the flaws
  • Overthinking

How is Body Dysmorphic Disorder diagnosed?

This mental disorder is hard to diagnose. People are not aware if they are diagnosed with BDD. The disorder is diagnosed only when the symptoms lead to complications. People with BDD feel embarrassed to open up to their parents, friends or doctors. So, the disorder is often left unnoticed.  The diagnosis will start with a discussion of medical history, followed by a physical examination. If BDD is confirmed during the diagnosis process, the doctor might refer to a psychiatrist, a healthcare professional who is well trained to treat the person with mental illness.  

What are the treatments for Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

The treatment for Body Dysmorphic disorder will be provided depending on the following factors.  

  • Severity of BDD
  • Age
  • Overall health and medical history
  • Tolerance rate for certain medications

The treatment involves combined therapy sessions. The following is the most commonly followed therapy:

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)

This therapy is a counselling method that aims to change a person’s negative thinking. The counselling sessions encourage people to evaluate and restructure their thoughts about themselves. CBT is widely considered as an effective therapy for BDD.  


Certain medications are also prescribed to relieve the symptoms. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) belong to the category of antidepressant medication. For people with BDD, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are prescribed to provide relief from the symptoms. This will not cure the disorder.

What are the further complications of Body Dysmorphic Disorder? 

Let us look at the complications that line up with Body Dysmorphic disorder are as follows:


Overthinking will cause depression. The other major factor is the negative thought about their physical appearance. People with BDD are immersed in worrying about their flaws, and they fail to recognize and appreciate small and beautiful things. Depression is one of the ends of such negative thoughts.

Anxiety disorder

One common complication for people with BDD is anxiety disorder (social phobia). As they are embarrassed by the flaws, they end up anxious. They often worry about the comments and bullying made by other people. Anxiety disorder makes them close up inside their house. They tend to reduce their interaction with a neighbour.  

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Body dysmorphic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder are co-related. People with OCD suffer from obsessive thoughts, which are hard to control. They are obsessed with the same thought and order. In the same way, people with Body Dysmorphic Disorder suffer from the same obsessive thought.  


There is no prevention for BDD. However, quality of life can be improved if the disorder is diagnosed and treated correctly. Despite all the therapies and medications, treating and caring for people with BDD will improve their recovery.  

The therapy does not aim to cure the disorder; rather, it aims to relieve their symptoms. The therapy works to provide a positive outlook on their lives and to have a constant check on them.  

Therapies will help to overcome the disorder. Care and support, along with medications, will give better results.  


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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