Frequently Asked Questions about Treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

A person holding a round mirror.

By Katharine A. Phillips, M.D. Medication often substantially improves BDD symptoms. But before saying more about this, I want to briefly mention what BDD is – and isn’t. These days, BDD is often confused with other body image issues that are not BDD. It’s important to be aware of this because some of the things… Read more »

Social Media and Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Various pop-up bubbles appearing on devices.

By Robyn L. Stern, LCSW, MSW, MSEd Social media has its benefits; it has allowed us to connect with people from our past, maintain relationships in our present, form new bonds with other people, and see places from afar. However, there are also some major pitfalls, especially for people who struggle with Body Dysmorphic Disorder… Read more »

Recovery from Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Lessons from Yoda to Skywalker

By Allison Lax If an observer had been asked to describe the two people on my Zoom screen last Thursday— Chris Trondsen, a California therapist, and myself, a New York grad student—there would not have been much to report. On one panel: a brown-haired, clean-shaven man with kind eyes in a crisp shirt and blazer…. Read more »

Substance and Alcohol Use in People with Body Dysmorphic Disorder

A dark colored drink in front of a person

By Simay Inci Ipek, BA & Hilary Weingarden, PhD A large proportion – approximately 30% of people with BDD – develop a substance use disorder in their lifetime, most commonly alcohol or cannabis use disorders. Symptoms of an alcohol or substance use disorder often begin slightly later than BDD symptoms, around age 17-20. Among those… Read more »

My Journey as a Body Dysmorphic Disorder Advocate

Pawn piece wants to be king.

By Eva Fisher, PHD What do you want to accomplish in life? What are your goals, hopes, and dreams? Therapy and medication enabled me to overcome body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) when I was thirty-six. Since then, my goal has been to raise awareness about this debilitating yet underrecognized body image disorder. I wanted people with… Read more »

Top 10 Recommendations for Treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) with Medication

By Katharine A. Phillips, MD 1. Certain medications are recommended for treating BDD, especially moderate to severe BDD. The right medication usually substantially improves BDD symptoms. It can even be lifesaving. It may be hard to believe that a simple pill can substantially improve BDD symptoms and sometimes even take them all away. After all,… Read more »

Healing from Family Trauma and Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Eve Fisher, PhD “Stop behaving like your father!” I remember my mother scolding me after one of my emotional outbursts when I was young. My father would often yell and raise his voice when he was upset about something my mother, my brother, or I had done. My mother’s admonition to not act like him… Read more »

BDD: It doesn’t have to be this way

by Scott M. Granet, LCSW Disgusting, ugly, deformed, monster, freak, alien, defective. How many of these words have you used to describe how you feel about yourself and your appearance?  No psychiatric disorder is good to have, but I don’t know any other that so often results in people feeling so awful about themselves. It… Read more »

BDD: Letter of Encouragement

To anyone seeking relief from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, First, I want to acknowledge your brave decision to seek help and resources on your journey to recovery from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). You have found an incredible organization, The International OCD Foundation, with vast information and material to help you better understand the disorder and the… Read more »

Some common misconceptions about BDD treatment — and why you can still get help

By Fanny Alexandra Dietel, PhD, and Ulrike Buhlmann, PhD I have worried about my appearance for several years. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) has ruined my jobs, my relationships, my life. Still, it took me such a long time to seek help. This scenario — and the long journey of suffering attached to it — is… Read more »