1 in 50 people suffer from BDD

Almost as many men as women suffer from BDD

What is BDD?

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterised by a preoccupation with perceived flaws or defects in one’s appearance. For someone with BDD, critical thoughts about their bodies are intrusive, unremitting, and all-consuming. 

Behaviours commonly engaged in by a person with BDD are time consuming and may include (but not limited to):

  • mirror gazing

  • comparing features to those of others

  • excessive camouflaging tactics to hide the defect

  • skin picking

  • reassurance seeking

As a result of the worry and shame, sufferers with BDD may avoid work, study, and social events to hide the perceived flaws from others, even despite others’ reassurances. Often someone with BDD may undergo needless cosmetic surgery. 


My Therapist Online Can Help You 

My Therapist Online have many therapists who are experienced and trained in the treatment of BDD.

BDD is a recognised clinical condition which is treatable. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend CBT to treat BDD when the problem causes mild functional impairment.


Good CBT for BDD is likely to involve the following:

  • A shared understanding of your main problems and goals

  • A ‘formulation’ – a diagram or verbal explanation of how your BDD developed and how it is being maintained that will be tested out in therapy

  • Agreed ‘homework’ tasks to be completed outside the sessions and reviewed at the next session

  • A strong focus upon you re-claiming your life, facing feared/avoided situations, and reducing the repetitive behaviours (e.g. comparing, checking, reassurance seeking, camouflaging and concealing)

  • A clear focus upon reducing your preoccupation and distress, and improving function. Body image in BDD usually only returns to normal once the person’s preoccupation and distress have reduced and functioning has improved.


Important to note - CBTtreatment will not involve:

Reassuring you about your appearance or entering into extensive debates about how you look or whether appearance is important


Recommended Reading

Overcoming Body Image Problems including Body Dysmorphic Disorder. By Davis Veale, Rob Wilson and Alex Clarke.