Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) or dysmorphophobia is a mental disorder characterized by excessive preoccupation with an imaginary, or possibly real, but minimal, defect in one's own appearance.

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This writes the Norwegian life-style magazine klikk.no in an article on the subject. They refer to researchers in both Norway and Sweden who comment on the topic.

 

An overlooked disorder

Jesper Enander, psychologist at Karolinska Institutet, tells Klikk.no:

People who suffer from the psychiatric diagnosis of dysmorphophobia have a strong perception that there is something wrong with their appearance. And that despite the fact that they look completely normal

He further says that those affected by the disorder have an increased risk of committing suicide and that the diagnosis is associated with major illness and sick leave.

Nevertheless, dysmorphophobia has long been an overlooked disorder, and it can be difficult to get the right help for those suffering from the disease, he says.

 

Often takes cosmetic surgery

Stian Solem, psychologist specialist and associate professor at the Department of Psychology at NTNU, elaborates on this picture:

Epidemiological studies have further suggested that there may be an increased risk of suicide for patients with breast implants, and this may be consistent with studies suggesting that suicide attempts may be relatively common among people with BDD. 

According to Solem, about two percent of the world's population has this disorder and this applies to a total of 17 percent of all who have had breast surgery.

 

Related to eating disorders

In another article on dysmorphophobia, published by the Norwegian news site Side2, psychiatrist Finn Skårderud is also interviewed about the topic. He tells:

- Dysmorphophobia is an excessive preoccupation with something that is partially or completely imagined. People with dysmorphophobia become morbidly preoccupied with bodily phenomena or bodily signs that others will perceive as a minimal defect, but which for those who suffer from this can be perceived as something very central.

Skårderud explains that the disease is related to eating disorders, and he himself has had patients with eating disorders who have slipped into dysmorphophobia.

 

Read more about dysmorphophobia 

 

Here you will find current videos about dysmorphophobia

On dysmorphophobia on Dr. Phil

 

Interview with psychologist Ben Buchanan about dysmorphophobia

 

Mirror, mirror: TV feature about dysmorphophobia

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Written by

ove heradstveit

Ove Heradstveit

Psychologist, specialist in clinical community psychology. PhD.
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