What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
People with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) are concerned about perceived flaw/s in their appearance and typically worry that they look ugly or abnormal.
BDD, or Body Dysmorphic Disorder, is NOT about being vain. In fact, BDD is the opposite of vanity. People with BDD are concerned about perceived flaw/s in their appearance and typically worry that they look ugly or abnormal.
The core feature of BDD is worrying about perceived flaw/s in appearance. The flaw/s are things that other people cannot see or do not generally notice. These worries may make people feel anxious, depressed, disgusted, and/or ashamed of the way they look.
Young people with BDD also carry out various behaviours in an attempt to cope with their worries, such as checking or camouflaging (covering up) their perceived flaw/s. These worries and behaviours can be extremely time-consuming and interfere in people’s lives.
People with BDD tend repeatedly to check on how bad their flaw is (for example in mirrors and reflective surfaces), avoid public or social situations like school or things that increase distress. There is no doubt that this causes a lot of distress.
Most people with BDD are worried about some part of their face and many believe they have multiple flaws. The most common worry is the skin, nose, hair, eyes, chin, lips and overall body build. They may complain of a lack of symmetry, or feel that something is too big, too small, or out of proportion to the rest of the body. Any part of the body may be involved in BDD.
BDD usually begins in late adolescence (16-18 years). However milder symptoms of BDD often precede this from about the age of 12-14.