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Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder

BDD is thought to be a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is not a variant of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.

The person with an eating disorder says, “I am so fat.” The person with BDD says, “I am so ugly.”

Not yet an official diagnosis, but may achieve that status soon. Sufferers are excessively concerned about appearance, body shape, body size, weight, perceived lack of muscles, facial blemishes, and so forth. They are convinced these flaws exist in spite of reassurances from friends and family members who usually can see nothing to justify such intense worry and anxiety.

BDD often includes social phobias. Sufferers are shy and withdrawn in new situations and with unfamiliar people.

BDD affects about two percent of the people in the United States. It strikes males and females equally. Seventy percent of cases appear before age eighteen.

In some cases BDD can lead to steroid abuse, unnecessary plastic surgery, and even suicide. BDD is treatable and begins with an evaluation by a mental health care provider.

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