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Body Dysmorphic Disorder - Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

Published on Mar 12, 2022 and last reviewed on Apr 19, 2022   -  5 min read


Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health condition relating to appearance. Read this article to know more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment.


What Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

Body dysmorphic disorder is a disorder affecting mental health. In this disorder, the person is worried about their physical appearance too much. They are also worried about the small flaws in their appearance. Being sad about too much weight and fat is commonly seen. When this sadness becomes an obsession, then it becomes a problem. People with body dysmorphic disorder have an urge to constantly check their appearance in the mirror.

Whom Does It Affect?

Women are more concerned about their beauty. This can most commonly affect them as they might worry about their body, a scar, acne, or other skin problems, the size, and shape of their nose, breast size, or body shape. Men, too, can be affected. Bodybuilders also have a susceptibility to this disorder. It might begin during the teenage years or during the early part of adult life.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms include being highly concerned about the following:

They may also become concerned about other areas such as the size of the penis, breasts, muscles, thighs, buttocks, and body odors.

What Are the Risk Factors?

The common risk factors are:

What Are the Causes of Body Dysmorphic Functions?

Body dysmorphic functions are due to the combination of biological, neurological, environmental, and genetic factors.

The common causes of body dysmorphic disorder are:

What Are the Other Signs and Symptoms?

People with body dysmorphic disorder have absurd views about themselves. This can lead them to harmful behaviors such as repeated esthetic surgeries, extensive exercises, and abnormal diet programs. Some of the warning signs are:

How Is It Diagnosed?

What Is a Self-Test for Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

The body dysmorphic disorder questionnaire is a good strategy to help a person identify their problem themselves. Though only a trained mental health professional can diagnose body dysmorphic disorder, this test may remain a helpful guide. After you use these tests, you can decide whether you should seek help from a psychologist. You may consider bringing your test results with you when you visit your psychiatrist so that you can discuss the test results and ask their opinion. These kinds of questionnaire tests are really helpful in creating awareness about various psychological problems. In this way, we can try to come out of the stigma society has created. Some of the psychometric tests are available online. These tests might have some disadvantages, but they are mostly accurate. They play a vital role in helping with the mental status of the individual.

What Are the Treatment Options?

Treatment options include medications and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Can Body Dysmorphic Disorder Be Prevented?

There is no exact way known to prevent body dysmorphic disorder. Educating and encouraging healthy attitudes about your body image might help the prevention of worsening habits. This can motivate you to stick to the treatment plan. The family members should be supportive of the person suffering from body dysmorphic disorder.

What Is the Differential Diagnosis?

  1. OCD- obsessive-compulsive disorder.

  2. Generalized anxiety disorder.

  3. Anorexia bulimia.

  4. Social phobia.


Health-oriented consciousness is good and must. Being conscious towards one’s physical appearance indeed motivates one to be healthy but being over conscious puts one under mental stress with nil results. If you feel your appearance is breaking your mental peace, do not be embarrassed to consult a specialist online.

Article Resources

Last reviewed at:
19 Apr 2022  -  5 min read




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