Atlanta Psychologists

Body Dysmorphic Disorder


Body Dysmorphic Disorder is characterized by certain key and associated features, specifically preoccupying obsessions with a particular body part that the person considers unattractive. With this disorder, the individual becomes pre-occupied with a non-existent or minimal cosmetic defect (nose, cleft chin, blemish, breast size) and repeatedly seeks medical attention to fix it surgically. What is more, the preoccupation causes significant distress or impairs work, social or personal functioning.

Cases of body dysmorphic disorder can range from relatively mild to very severe; people with mild cases are bothered and distressed, and their obsessions cause some degree of impairment. Some mental health professionals believe that this disorder is actually a variation of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Body dysmorphic disorder has been associated with depression, sexual dysfunction, guilt or obsession, anxiety, and dependent personality. This disorder tends to occur in young adults, equally in either gender. We do not have a clear idea of what causes body dysmorphic disorder, although research seems to indicate that biological, psychological and perhaps even social or cultural factors contribute to its origins.



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