How Common is BDD?
Surveys have put BDD at about 2% of the population. It is more common in adolescents and young people.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder usually develops in adolescence, a time when people are generally most sensitive about their appearance. However, many sufferers leave it for 15 years before seeking appropriate help.
They are most likely to consult dermatologists or cosmetic practitioners instead; and when they do seek help through mental health professionals, they often present with other symptoms such as depression, social anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder and do not reveal their real concerns. Therefore, it is not easy to know what proportion of the population suffers from BDD.
Facts about BDD:
- It is recognized as a hidden disorder as many people with BDD are too ashamed to reveal their main problem. However, surveys have put BDD at about 2% of the population.
- It is more common in adolescents and young people.
- We know very little about cultural influences in BDD – for example, it may be more common in cultures that put an emphasis on the importance of appearance.
- In Western cultures, it is believed to be equally common in men and women, although milder forms of BDD may be more common in women.