The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

Body Dymorphic disorder–what is it?

There’s a lot of talk in the news right now about mental illness and plastic surgeries.  I found it interesting that the general population had never thought to connect these dots before, it seems.  I have always been confused by the people who search for “perfection” by undergoing surgery.   I understand that if you earn your money because of your face, you will have a certain investment in keeping your face up to standards set by your industry.  However, the bulk of people who undergo plastic surgery are just regular folks like you and I.

Everyone, at some time or other, will think about “a little nip here” or “a little tuck there” as they age.  To me that is normal because time is not kind on our bodies.  However, the people who confuse me are the ones who are constantly searching for the next way to become perfect.  There is no perfect when you are talking about human beings.  We are all imperfect and that’s a good thing.

So, today I did a bit of surfing and found several articles I will post here for you to read and learn about Body Dysmorphic Disorder (or BDD) and maybe you will learn something or if not, maybe you will leave me a comment about your thoughts.


Body dysmorphic disorder patients see details, not whole face

Some people check their appearance in any mirror, window or computer screen they can find, but not out of vanity. It’s because they hate the way they look so much.

An obsession with one or more bodily features, normally in the face, indicates a condition called body dysmorphic disorder. This mental illness, which leads some patients to seek multiple plastic surgeries, is not uncommon; 1 to 2 percent of the population is thought to have it. But most people who have the disorder don’t get a diagnosis; they just think they are ugly, said Dr. Jamie Feusner psychiatrist at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Some celebrities have BDD, but few have been public about it, Feusner said. He and colleagues have treated celebrities at UCLA, but cannot disclose which ones.

“Everyone else would consider them attractive — they don’t consider themselves attractive,” he said.

It turns out that people with this condition have abnormal brain function when it comes to looking at pictures of their own faces, …[read more]


Psychiatric Manifestations of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a relatively common and often severe psychiatric illness that is likely underrecognized and underreported. It is classified as a somatoform disorder in DSM-IV-TR; however, some authors have argued that it may be considered as part of the obsessive-compulsive or psychotic disorder spectrum.[1] The essential feature of this disorder is a preoccupation with an imagined defect in appearance or disproportionate concern with a slight physical anomaly. These preoccupations most often involve the nose, ears, face, hair, or features related to sexuality (such as breasts in women or muscular build or penis size in men), yet any body part may occupy the patient’s focus. By definition, body dysmorphic disorder causes significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning.[2]

Data suggest that quality of life and psychosocial functioning is as poor as, or poorer than, in those with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).[3] BDD is associated with high rates of hospitalization (48%), and high rates of suicidal ideation and attempts.[4, 5] A history of suicidal ideation attributed primarily to BDD is reported in 45-70% of those with BDD, and past suicide attempts are reported in 22-24%.[6]

BDD affects 1-2% of the general population, making it more common than schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and its prevalence has been reported to be as high as 7-15% in those undergoing cosmetic surgery.[7, 8, 9, 10] Persons with BDD who choose to undergo plastic surgery are generally…[read more]


Body dysmorphic disorder in men
Psychiatric treatments are usually effective
Body image isn’t just a women’s problem. Many studies reveal that a surprisingly high proportion of men are dissatisfied with, preoccupied with, and even impaired by concerns about their appearance.1 One American study, for example, found that the percentage of men dissatisfied with their overall appearance (43%) has nearly tripled in the past 25 years and that nearly as many men as women are unhappy with how they look.1
A more severe form of body image disturbance—body dysmorphic disorder or dysmorphophobia—is an underrecognised yet relatively common and severe psychiatric disorder.2 Body dysmorphic disorder affects as many men as women3,4 and consists of a preoccupation with an imagined or slight defect in appearance that causes clinically significant distress or impairment in functioning. Patients with body dysmorphic disorder often present to non-psychiatric physicians, with reported rates of 12% in dermatology settings and 7-15% in cosmetic surgery settings.5 Although the symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder might sound trivial, high proportions of patients require admission to hospital, become housebound, and attempt suicide.3 In a study of dermatology patients who committed suicide most had acne or body dysmorphic disorder.6

Men with body dysmorphic disorder are most commonly preoccupied with their skin (for example, with acne or scarring), hair (thinning), nose (size or shape), or genitals.3,4 The preoccupations are difficult to resist or control and can consume many hours each day.3 Nearly all men with body dysmorphic disorder perform repetitive and time-consuming behaviours in an attempt to examine, fix, or hide the “defect.” The most common are mirror checking, comparing themselves with others, camouflaging…[read more]

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August 1, 2011 - Posted by | Mental Health | , , , , , , ,


  1. […] Body Dymorphic disorder – what is it? […]

    Pingback by $299 for One Zeltiq CoolSculpting Treatment at the Virginia Institute of Plastic Surgery » Get your daily Groupon deals | August 2, 2011 | Reply

  2. Sorry to leave an unrelated comment, but I couldn’t find any contact info for you. I’m wondering if you’d be interested in a guest post. Please drop me an e-mail. Thanks!

    Comment by Allison Gamble | August 4, 2011 | Reply

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