Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a condition in which an excessive preoccupation with an imagined physical imperfection/anomaly is the most marked symptom.

Other symptoms may include a fear of ridicule, an avoidance of mirrors, repeatedly seeking reassurance about the perceived defect, frequent measuring of the 'imperfection, and attempts to hide or camouflage the problem area. BDD can lead to a great deal of social isolation and distress.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is sometimes considered to have associations with Social Phobia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It can be associated with eating disorders, in that the 'body dysmorphia' can be seen to have similarities with the dissatisfaction with, and distorted view of, body shape and size seen in anorexia nervosa.


“I had consistently been losing weight for more than 8 months and had become accustomed to eating very little. This triggered a return of my anorexia, after a 20-year period of recovery. SWEDA were able to offer me an appointment the very next day. When we met I was feeling very ill and frightened.I spoke to them about my fears, but then took the decision to go to my doctor on the way home. I was admitted to hospital within a few days.”

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