What is BDD?

Signs of body dysmorphic disorder

  • Are you very concerned or distressed about appearance flaws that friends, family members, or doctors tell you are minor or nonexistent?
  • Do your appearance concerns interfere with your ability to go to work or school, take care of things at home, maintain grades, or socialize?
  • Do you spend a lot of time trying to fix or change your appearance, but still feel dissatisfied?

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If you are suffering from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), please know that you are not alone. In fact, recent studies suggest that BDD is relatively common and affects close to 2% of the population.

Individuals with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) have an extreme and time-consuming focus on their appearance. BDD occurs in men and women at about equal rates. Common areas people report concern with are their skin, hair, nose, eyes, or teeth.  However, any body part may be the focus of concern.

Individuals with BDD often spend hours a day worrying about their appearance. People with BDD often engage in repeated behaviors to reduce anxiety about their appearance. Examples include frequently checking or avoidingthe mirror, covering up with makeup or clothing, picking skin, or seeking cosmetic surgery.

BDD is NOT vanity. It is a serious condition. Individuals who have BDD often experience severe depression, anxiety, and social isolation. These appearance concerns can cause extreme distress and interference. Just getting up in the morning and going to school or work can be a challenge. Left untreated, symptoms of BDD can worsen and reduce quality of life.