Body Dysmorphic Disorder

BDD is relatively common, frequently results in impairment in functioning, and is associated with high levels of perceived stress and suicide attempts.

General Information:

-Some research suggests that BDD may affect at least 1 in 200 people

-Treatment includes cognitive behavioral therapy and medication

Symptoms Include:

-Preoccupation with your physical appearance with extreme self-consciousness

-Frequent examination of yourself in the mirror, or the opposite, avoidance of mirrors altogether

-Strong belief that you have an abnormality or defect in your appearance that makes you ugly

-Avoidance of social situations

To learn about more symptoms of BDD visit:

Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Suicide:

Individuals with BDD have high rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Studies

show that about 75 percent of people with BDD feel that life is not worth living, and 25 percent attempt suicide.   For more information on helping yourself or a friend with thinking about suicide, please see:

Living With Body Dysmorphic Disorder:  A Student Story

I wake up and I immediately look in the mirror.  I hope that maybe my appearance has changed, that maybe I will look different, but the shame and sadness overwhelms me.  Throughout the day I constantly check my reflection in various mirrors, and I worry that people are looking at me because they think that I am ugly.  I know that everyone is beautiful in their own way, I just have not been able to find the beauty within myself because of my intense fixation on my appearance.  Body Dysmorphic Disorder has kept me from making friendships, getting involved in clubs, and pursuing my passions. 

But there is hope; with treatment the severity of my BDD has decreased, and my quality of life has improved.

As with many mental illnesses, there is often a stigma attached to seeking treatment.  This is especially true for BDD, because sufferers believe that they may be perceived as vain.  But medication and therapy are the best ways to help overcome BDD.  So I encourage anyone who is suffering from BDD, or thinks they may be suffering from BDD, to seek help from CAPS or a therapist who is knowledgeable about BDD.