Body Dysmorphic Disorder
WEIGHT LOSS What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder
BDD is thought to be a subtype of obsessive-compulsive
disorder. It is not a variant of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.
The person with an eating disorder says, "I am so fat." The
person with BDD says, "I am so ugly."
Not yet an official diagnosis, but may achieve that status soon. Sufferers
are excessively concerned about appearance, body shape, body size, weight,
perceived lack of muscles, facial blemishes, and so forth. They are convinced
these flaws exist in spite of reassurances from friends and family members
who usually can see nothing to justify such intense worry and anxiety.
BDD often includes social phobias. Sufferers
are shy and withdrawn in new situations and with unfamiliar people.
BDD affects about two percent of the people in the United States. It strikes
males and females equally. Seventy percent of cases appear before age
In some cases BDD can lead to steroid abuse,
unnecessary plastic surgery, and even suicide. BDD is treatable and begins
with an evaluation by a mental health care provider.
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