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 saw a SWEDA support worker on campus at university. I had been struggling with binge eating disorder and compulsive exercise for about ten years. The SWEDA support worker was able to help me look at my relationship with food and my body in a different way. I have learned to be kinder to myself and they taught me techniques which helped me to slow down my thinking. Now I can go out and have fun without worrying all the time.”

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