Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a very serious mental health illness and can lead to severe depression. There is a higher suicide rate with BDD. Medication is very much needed as part of the treatment. We will always respect clients wishes if they prefer not to take medication, but we will also be honest and transparent about the chances of treatment being successful if you choose not to take medication. If you are a parent of a child who is developing BDD symptoms, get them help ASAP!

While those with BDD will also get better with the appropriate treatment, it is important to know that treating BDD is more difficult. There seems to be a delusional component to BDD. Those suffering from BDD are not seeing their body parts the same way the rest of the population would. These clients will often be resistant and defensive to treatment at first. They will debate with their support system and provider about why their rituals are necessary. Lack of insight is part of this illness.

BDD is an embellished view of physical features perceived as flaws that can lead one to isolate, hide the features with clothing, or even result in extreme measures such as unnecessary surgery. The physical feature is viewed by the individual as ugly, deformed, inadequate, or abnormal, yet appears normal to others. With BDD, the physical feature associated with preoccupation cannot be connected to concerns of body fat or weight. Typical features that cause distress for those with BDD include: hair, nose, skin, muscularity, and symmetry of body parts. Common rituals associated with BDD include mirror checking, comparing oneself to others, asking people for reassurance regarding appearance, frequent doctor visits, excessive exercising or grooming.

Exposure response prevention (ERP) treatment is needed for BDD. Again, medication will always be recommended and will be essential. However, the client or parent of the minor client will ultimately decide if they wish to take medication. Cognitive therapy is harmful to someone struggling with BDD because cognitive therapy will provide the client with reassurance.

To learn more about exposure response prevention treatment (ERP), please click here.

We Are Ready To Help

Treatment is available in person, via video conference, and over the phone for patients in Florida and New York. In-person sessions are available in Tampa, Florida. 

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