1100 Jorie Blvd. Suites 132 & 243 Oak Brook, IL 60523
64 Orland Square Dr. Suite 112 , Orland Park, IL 60462

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition in which an individual experiences preoccupation with a minor or imagined defect in their appearance. People with BDD may experience shame, distress, and an inability to focus on other things when they consider their own body. People with BDD also engage in repetitive, compulsive behaviors meant to decrease their anxiety or “undo” their perceived problems with their appearance. Individuals with BDD feel compelled to engage in these behaviors, which may provide short term relief, but ultimately increase their anxiety about their appearance. Symptoms of BDD vary from person to person, but may include one or more of the following:

  • Belief that they are ugly or distracting to others
  • Preoccupation with physical features prevents them from focusing on other tasks
  • Inability to function at work, school or social gatherings due to concern about physical appearance
  • Seeking excessive reassurance from friends and family members about appearance
  • Not believing reassurance from others about appearance
  • Comparing their appearance to that of others
  • Feelings of shame or disgust at appearance
  • Avoiding social settings in order to avoid their “defects” being seen
  • Excessive mirror checking
  • Grooming excessively
  • Changing clothes, hair or makeup frequently
  • Hair pulling or skin picking
  • Pursuing cosmetic surgery
  • Co-occurring depressive symptoms or suicidal thoughts

This condition is, unfortunately, quite underdiagnosed and can occur in both men and women. At The OCD & Anxiety Center, we specialize in the treatment of this pervasive mental health condition and related disorders. Our clients have experienced great success overcoming anxiety about their body and learning to accept their appearance as it is. We use a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (ERP) in the treatment of BDD. Through ERP, individuals with BDD learn to confront their feared bodily imperfections in a structured and gradual way. ERP also helps individuals with BDD to decrease their use of compulsions and attempts to change their appearance, helping them gradually gain their lives back from BDD. Through CBT, individuals with BDD learn to challenge their unrealistic thoughts and judgements about their own bodies, and replace these with a more realistic and balanced appraisal of their appearance. Finally, if you or someone you know would benefit from our specialized BDD treatment services, please reach out to us at 630-522-3124 today!