Thereï¿½??s nothing wrong with having BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder). Hereï¿½??s some information on it (from Mayoclinic, as well as a useful questionnaire psychiatrists use to diagnose it.)
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterized by an excessive preoccupation with a real or imagined defect in your physical appearance.
People with body dysmorphic disorder have a distorted or exaggerated view of how they look and are obsessed with actual physical characteristics or perceived flaws, such as a certain facial feature or imperfections of the skin. They often think of themselves as ugly or disfigured. People with body dysmorphic disorder often have problems controlling negative thoughts about their appearance, even when reassured by others that they look fine and that the minor or perceived flaws aren’t noticeable or excessive.
Treatment for body dysmorphic disorder may involve a combined approach involving medication and talk therapy (psychotherapy). Antidepressant medications used along with cognitive behavior therapy can help people with body dysmorphic disorder manage the obsession and anxiety about their appearance, increase confidence in how they look, and obtain normalcy in their social and work lives.
The following questionnaire, called the BDDQ, is a useful screening questionnaire for the presence of BDD.
SYMPTOMS and SIGNS
The signs and symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder include:
* Frequently comparing appearance with that of others
* Repeatedly checking the appearance of the specific body part in mirrors or other reflective surfaces
* Refusing to have pictures taken
* Wearing excessive clothing, makeup and hats to camouflage the perceived flaw
* Using hands or posture to hide the imagined defect
* Frequently touching the perceived flaw
* Picking at one's skin
* Frequently measuring the imagined or exaggerated defect
* Elaborate grooming rituals
* Excessive researching about the perceived defective body part
* Seeking surgery or other medical treatment despite contrary opinions or medical recommendations
* Seeking reassurance about the perceived defect or trying to convince others that it's abnormal or excessive
* Avoiding social situations in which the perceived flaw might be noticed
* Feeling anxious and self-conscious around others (social phobia) because of the imagined defect
People with severe body dysmorphic disorder may drop out of school, quit their jobs or avoid leaving their homes. In the most severe cases, people with BDD may consider or attempt suicide.
Certain physical obsessions are common in a person with body dysmorphic disorder. These include:
* Overall size, shape or symmetry of a certain facial feature, such as size or shape of nose
* Moles or freckles perceived as too large or noticeable
* Acne and blemishes
* Minor scars or skin abrasions
* Too much facial or body hair
* Breast size
* Muscles perceived as too small
* Size or shape of genitalia
This questionnaire asks about concerns with physical appearance. Please read each question carefully and circle the answer that is true for you. Also write in answers where indicated.
NAME:______________________________ TODAY’S DATE:____________
- Are you very worried about how you look? Yes No
If yes: Do you think about your appearance problems a lot and wish you could think about them less? Yes No If yes: Please list the body areas you don’t like:
Examples of disliked body area include: your skin (for example, acne, scars, wrinkles, paleness, redness); hair; the shape or size of your nose, mouth, jaw, lips, stomach, hips, etc.; or defects of your hands, genitals, breasts, or any other body part.
(NOTE: If you answered “No” to either of the above questions, you are finished with this questionnaire. Otherwise please continue.)
Is your main concern with how you look that you aren’t thin enough or that you might get too fat? Yes No
How has this problem with how you look affected your life?
Has it often upset you a lot? Yes No Has it often gotten in the way of doing things with friends or dating? Yes No
If yes, describe how:______________________________________________
Has it caused you any problems with school? Yes No
If yes, what are they?_____________________________________________
Are there things you avoid because of how you look? Yes No
- How much time a day do you usually spend thinking about how you look? Please circle one.
a) Less than 1 hour a day b) 1 - 3 hours a day c) More than 3 hours a day
You’re likely to have BDD if you give the following answers on the BDDQ:
Question 1: Yes to both parts Question 3: Yes to any of the questions Question 4: Answer b or c
If according to the BDDQ you likely have BDD, you might want to think about consulting a physician or psychologist.