Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)?


BDD is a condition where we worry about flaws in our appearance. BDD affects both men and women and can have a significant impact upon our lives. 


In BDD our perception and thinking processes are distorted, we may fall into the following thinking traps:

  • Comparing ourselves against others
  • Self-critical thoughts about ourselves 
  • Fear of being judged or rejected
  • Difficulty accepting body defects are a result of BDD and are out of proportion


BDD may lead to us to become preoccupied with 'fixing' the problem, we may do this by:

  • Use of permanent makeup or plastic surgery to fix 'the problem'
  • Hiding an area with clothing, or use of makeup
  • Seeking reassurance
  • Excessive use of mirrors to check appearance, alternatively we may avoid looking in mirrors
  • Avoidance of certain situations or people

Impact on Functioning


As with all mental health conditions, for some people the condition impacts many areas of their lives and this is evident, this is something we can see, for example the impact can be on our:

  • Relationships
  • Routine daily activities
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Work/education
  • Social life

However, for some people we cannot evidently see their difficulties, they may be attending work, engaging socially, continuing their usual activities. In clinic we use a metaphor of a duck swimming on a pond. We can seem to be moving without effort, gliding through life, just like the duck on the water. However, while we may appear fine on appearance, we can be paddling very hard underwater, struggling where people cannot see. No matter the visible impact upon your daily functioning, we are here to support you to overcome the current difficulties you are experiencing.



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