the-broken-mirror.jpgBody Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), is obsession with an imagined or slight physical defects or flaws. BDD patients are concerned with their nose, skin, hair, eyes or breasts and think that they are either too small or too large, and they irrationally focus on these defective body parts. This leads to one believe that the defect is so horrible and they hesitate to move freely within society, afraid of people laughing over them. BDD is now being addressed by the mental health community.

Those with BDD have one of the highest suicide rates among people with mental illnesses. In the book, The Broken Mirror: Understanding and Treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder written for clinicians as well as the public, Phillips details the history and nature of BDD, its treatments and possible causes, and covers the spectrum from normal concern over appearance to the painful illness.

Arie Winograd, director of the Los Angeles Body Dysmorphic Disorder Clinic, says dermatologists often have been at the forefront, wary of patients complaining about undetectable skin flaws. As BDD becomes recognized, more treatment protocols have been developed. Most therapists use a combination of drug therapy, including antidepressants such as Prozac and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, along with cognitive behavior therapy, which gradually acclimates patients to situations that make them uncomfortable. Although BDD is a severe illness, success rates are high. Treatment is more specific than it was a decade ago, and promising new medications are becoming available.

To find Help for body dysmorphic disorder, here are a few options