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Psychiatr Q. 2004 Winter;75(4):309-20.

Depression, anxiety, anger, and somatic symptoms in patients with body dysmorphic disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School, Butler Hospital, Providence, RI 02906, USA.


Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a relatively common and impairing disorder. However, little is known about non-BDD symptoms and well-being in patients with this disorder. Seventy-five outpatients with DSM-IV BDD completed the Symptom Questionnaire, a validated self-report measure with four scales: depression, anxiety, somatic/somatization, and anger-hostility. Scores were compared to published norms for normal subjects and psychiatric outpatients. Participants in an open-label fluvoxamine trial completed the Symptom Questionnaire at baseline and endpoint. Compared to normal controls, BDD subjects had markedly elevated scores on all four scales, indicating severe distress and psychopathology. Compared to psychiatric patients, BDD subjects had higher scores on the depression, anxiety, and anger/hostility scales but not on the somatic/somatization scale. Scores on all scales significantly decreased with fluvoxamine. In conclusion, patients with BDD have markedly high levels of distress, are highly symptomatic, and have poor well-being in the domains of depression, anxiety, somatic symptoms, and anger-hostility. All of these symptoms significantly improved with fluvoxamine.

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