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Does body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) include a focus on real or imagined details about one’s appearance? What’s the difference between BDD and general unhappiness with how you look on any given day? How disruptive is BDD? Are there cultural or genetic factors involved in determining who is affected by the disorder?

These are just some of the questions individuals have when it comes to better understanding BDD. A new Buzzfeed article tackles the answers to these questions and others in a piece called “13 Things You Need to Know About Body Dysmorphic Disorder.” The author writes: 

“Listen to what someone says about themselves, if they start to use a lot of a negative self-talk, especially if it’s something that seems imagined or just distorted,” says [licensed psychologist] Sari Fine Shepphird. Some red flags in their speech might include things like: feeling ugly, looking hideous, looking like a monster, or using words like “disgusting” to describe themselves. You can also be on the lookout for behaviors that seem compulsive or repetitive, like excessive grooming or mirror checking.

If these symptoms are interfering with daily life — or if they’re accompanied by thoughts of shame, embarrassment, or suicide — it might be time for you or your loved one to seek help from a doctor or therapist.

The full article, including twelve other points experts say readers should know about BDD, can be found on the Buzzfeed site here.


  • Michael McCarney

    My sister-in-law dresses entirely and always in clothing that is usually 2 or 3 sizes too large for her. Baggy, baggy T-shirts, with 25 yearr old zip up sweaters (which are also too large) as well as jeans or sweatpants which are huge.
    If she does try on something that is her actual size and fits her well – she will repeat the it is “Too tight, too tight”. She has had the same haircut since she was 12 years old (she is now 51) and it is entirely too long and very scraggly-looking. SHe refuses to get her hair styled any differently – or colored.

    She seems to be covering up her body with her baggy clothing, but neither my wife, or her other sister can determine why. She had a normal childhood – but lost her mother at apporximately 14 years old.


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