What is "Body Dysmorphic Disorder" (BDD)?
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) refers to an excessive preoccupation with a perceived defect or flaw in one’s physical appearance which is absent or appears only slight to others.
Typical areas of concerns include the face or the head area (e.g. skin blemishes, scars, asymmetries, shape/size of the nose or teeth, thinning hair, wrinkles). Some individuals worry about their own body build as being insufficiently muscular, which is known as a subtype of BDD called “muscle dysmorphia”. However, all body parts may be the focus of concern.
Studies indicate that about 2% of the general population suffer from BDD. Further, the syndrome appears to be equally frequent in men and women and occurs in all cultural backgrounds. BDD often starts in young adulthood and usually takes a chronic course, if left untreated.
Typically, individuals with BDD fear to disclose their appearance concerns to others because they are ashamed or afraid to be considered superficial or vain.