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Home :: Neurology Disorders

Body Dysmorphic Disorder - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


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Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) tends to be chronic and can lead to social isolation, school dropout major depression. BDD most commonly involves the eyes, ears, nose, skin, chin, jaw or other facial features. Other areas of concern include hands, feet, breasts and genitals. People with Body Dysmorphic Disorder are ashamed of their "defect" and invent elaborate means to hide their deformity from the world. The best estimate might be 1% of the population. It may be more common in women than in men in the community although clinic samples tend to have an equal proportion of men and women. BDD is an unhealthy preoccupation with a mild or imagined defect of the body. This preoccupation with a perceived deformity disrupts patients' lives. They check their appearance in mirrors frequently in order to confirm or conceal their perceived deformity. The patient may engage in long rituals of grooming, such as repeatedly combing hair, applying makeup, or picking skin. CBT ( Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ) coupled with exposure therapy has been shown effective in the treatment of BDD. Drug treatment will sometimes also include the use of an anxiolytic.

Causes of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Common Causes and Risk factors of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  • A chemical imbalance in the brain.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • An eating disorder.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Psychological factors.
  • Behavioral or cultural factors.
  • Traumatic events.
  • Low self-esteem.

Signs and Symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Common Sign and Symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  • Anxiety.
  • Stress.
  • Depression.
  • Acne.
  • Scarring.
  • Facial lines.
  • Pale skin.
  • Crooked nose.
  • Social withdrawal.

Treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Common Treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  • Medications, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and fluoxetine (Prozac), can relieve obsession and decrease distress and depression.
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy can also help reduce compulsion.
  • Low levels or insufficient use of serotonin in the brain has been implicated with the disorder
  • Psychoanalytical therapy is o benefit in Body Dysmorphic Disorder.