What is body dysmorphic disorder?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a type of anxiety disorder affecting a person’s body image. People suffering from this disorder have a distorted view of the way they look, and tend to fixate on aspects of their face or body that they believe are unattractive or ‘wrong’. Because of these core beliefs, they tend to spend a lot of time worrying about their appearance, but body dysmorphic disorder is a serious mental health condition so sufferers are not merely vain or self-obsessed. If you find yourself constantly comparing your looks to other people’s, spending a lot of time trying to cover up what you think is a defect, or becoming distressed by a particular area of your body, you may be suffering from body dysmorphic disorder.

Other common symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder include:

• Spending a lot of time in front of the mirror or avoiding mirrors altogether
• Feeling anxious when around other people and avoiding social situations
• Being overly worried about asking for help out of fear that they will be seen to be vain or self-obsessed
• Seeking medical treatment for the perceived defect such as cosmetic surgery
• Excessive diet and exercise

Although BDD is different to OCD, there are similarities between the two disorders, as both involve compulsive behaviours. BDD can also lead to depression, self harm and suicidal thoughts.
If you feel that the above applies to you, therapy can greatly improve your self-esteem, wellbeing, and quality of life.

Which therapies might help?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Schema Therapy
Cognitive Analytic Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Our expert psychologists at My Online Therapy are highly trained in providing these therapies for individuals with body dysmorphic disorder.