Body dysmorphic disorder: Part 1 – introduction

by Ms Nell Ellison and Dr David Veale

Body dysmorphic disorder: Part 1 – introductionBody dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is defined in DSM-5 as a preoccupation with a perceived defect(s) or flaw(s) in physical appearance that is not observable or appears slight to others.

 

BDD is characterised by severe distress or handicap, yet it remains a relatively hidden disorder. BDD 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 and engage in time-consuming rituals.

 

The condition is easily missed and stigmatised. It may also be trivialised. The majority of patients with BDD do not volunteer their symptoms and therefore, although the diagnosis is relatively easy to make, it is often overlooked.

 

In this module we will provide an introduction to the phenomenology of BDD, and the second module will go on to discuss diagnosis and treatment of the disorder.
 

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