Send to

Choose Destination
Postgrad Med J. 2004 Feb;80(940):67-71.

Body dysmorphic disorder.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Royal Free and University College Medical School, University of London, London, UK.


Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is defined as a preoccupation with an "imagined" defect in one's appearance. Alternatively, where there is a slight physical anomaly, then the person's concern is markedly excessive. The preoccupation is associated with many time consuming rituals such as mirror gazing or constant comparing. BDD patients have a distorted body image, which may be associated with bullying or abuse during childhood or adolescence. Such patients have a poor quality of life, are socially isolated, depressed, and at high risk of committing suicide. They often have needless dermatological treatment and cosmetic surgery. The condition is easily trivialised and stigmatised. There is evidence for the benefit of cognitive behaviour therapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in high doses for at least 12 weeks, as in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. There is no evidence of any benefit of antipsychotic drugs or other forms of psychotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center