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Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Some Signs and Symptoms

I was delivering training/lecturing to a group of trainee CBT Therapists in Glasgow yesterday about treatment and therapy for Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). They learned a lot about BDD and just how much it really distresses those experiencing it and impact on their life.

Some of the signs and symptoms of BDD include (we are all different though, so some signs may not be listed/be different): 

* Do you feel that you have one or more features that are very noticeable, abnormal, ugly or ‘not right’?

* Have others close to you or a health professional said that the feature(s) are not that noticeable, abnormal or ugly or look OK?

* If you add up all the time your feature(s) is/are at the forefront of your mind and make the best estimate for a typical day, do you worry (or brood) about it/them for an hour or more a day?

* Does your worry about your feature(s) cause you marked distress?

* Does your worry about your feature(s) significantly interfere with your ability to work, study, as a homemaker?

* Does your worry about your feature(s) significantly interfere with your social life? Or do you try to avoid social situations because of your feature(s)?

* If you have no current partner: has your worry about your feature(s) had a significant effect on dating or interfered with your ability to form an intimate relationship?

* If you have a regular partner: has your worry about your feature(s) interfered in the relationship with your partner?

If ‘yes’ to first 3 questions and one or more to 4-7 – may have BDD. If you are mainly preoccupied with weight and it affecting your relationship with food/eating, it's more likely you are experiencing an eating disorder (although some people with eating disorders experience BDD too.

It's important to note body image problems are not BDD: BDD is a form of body image problem.

I also planning a 2-day training course on BDD for other mental health clinicians (therapists,psychologists, counsellors etc. next year).

Hope the info above is useful. Please seek help and support if you think you may be experiencing BDD or body image problems that are causing you distress or impacting on your life.

Best wishes, 



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