Body dysmorphic disorder
Fernando, Gaithri A. Department of Psychology, California State University, Los Angeles, California.
Last reviewed:April 2021
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A mental health illness characterized by a compulsive or obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in appearance. Body dysmorphic disorder (often abbreviated BDD) is a psychiatric illness in which a person has a severe, excessive preoccupation with a perceived defect or shortcoming in their physical appearance (see illustration), and that concern is not attributable to any other psychiatric problem (such as anorexia nervosa or another eating disorder). The defect may be imaginary or the product of distorted perception. Individuals afflicted with this obsession with their appearance can suffer clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, and other important areas of functioning. In extreme cases, individuals choose to undergo multiple plastic surgery procedures, with no or temporary relief after each surgery. Patients affected by body dysmorphic disorder often become severely depressed and suicidal, requiring treatment in psychiatric facilities or hospitals. See also: Anorexia nervosa; Depression; Eating disorders; Mental disorders; Psychology; Psychosomatic disorders; Stress (psychology); Suicide
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