Body Dysmorphic Disorder – Symptoms, Test, Treatment And More

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Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is one types of somatoform disorder characterized by the false belief or exaggerated perception that a particular body part having a disability. Defects in this appearance could be just a physical condition that does not matter like a big nose, thick lip or damaged hair. But for people with BDD, they believe that the physical condition was very severe form of disability. People with this disorder fixated on physical damage to an imagined or exaggerated in terms of their appearance.

They can spend hours to see the mirror and take extreme measures to try to correct the perceived damage, such as needless plastic surgery, withdrawing socially, or even sit at home alone, until the suicidal thoughts. This has led to decline in many functions of a person’s life, such as social functioning, employment, academic and communication.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder Symptoms

A person may experience body dysmorphic disorder symptoms gradually or suddenly. The focus of appearance that makes sufferers of stress is generally lower and the head although some patients also have problems in other parts of the body such as thinning hair, scars, skin colour, signs of blood vessels or the problem of wrinkles.

People with body dysmorphic disorder often show a pattern of dress up or wash, or hair compulsively in order to correct the perceived damage. Another example, a person feels his face like a plate, too flat, so it does not want to be photographed. They can do anything to fix the broken state.

In body dysmorphic disorder, patients covered by the shadow of the deficiencies in their physical appearance, making them look in the mirror can linger in front of the mirror looking at body shape that is considered less. Patients also often come to surgery and beauty specialist.

More extreme action makes people only venture out at night to avoid people.


Appears mostly in women who typically focus on the hair, face and breast. In men, the focus of obsession with BDD disorder is usually on the genitals and muscle problems. Obsession with BDD usually begins in late adolescence, and is usually associated with depression, social phobia, and personality disorders. About 1% occupation of the United States suffers from BDD disorder while the percentage increased to 6-15% for the entire population of the world. BDD can lead to suicide patients, especially in women.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder Test

Based on DSM IV body dysmorphic disorder, diagnostic criteria and test for body dysmorphic disorder:

  • Preoccupies with shadow defect in appearance. If found slightly anomalous body, the person fears become excessive.
  • Preoccupies cause clinically significant suffering or disturbance in social functioning, employment, or other important functions.
  • Preoccupies can not be explained better by another mental disorder (e.g., dissatisfaction with body shape and size in anorexia nervosa).

Body Dysmorphic Disorder Treatment

Generaly, treatment of somatoform disorders has same combination on treatment in patients with body dysmorpic disorder, which is has same aims to:
1. Prevent the adoption of the pain, invalidism (not justify thinking / convinced that the phenomenon exists only in the mind is not for real life)
2. Minimize costs and avoid complications with test diagnosis, treatment, and medicines that do not need
3. Pharmacological control of comorbid syndromes (aggravating the condition)

Body dysmorpic disorder treatment combines methods of psychotherapy, psychosocial and pharmacological.


An experiment showed that serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs shown to reduce symptoms in patients with BDB. SSRI are antidepressants that reduce and obsessive compulsive behaviour, proven to reduce symptoms of somatoform disorder. Another treatment is also monoamine oxidase inhibitors by using, tricyclic antidepressants and pimozide.


Psychotherapy for BDD disorder use of cognitive behavioural therapy. This therapy can assist patients in changing their false belief on performance and stop the compulsive behaviour in a hide or disguise the physical disability that is believed to exist, such as stop doing cosmetic surgery.

Psychotherapy conducted by the same physician with a consistent treatment.

Strategies and techniques of psychotherapy and psychosocial

  • Treatment consistent, handled by the same physician
  • Create a regular schedule with adequate time intervals of arrival
  • Focus on treatment of symptoms gradually to the personal and social problem.

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