How is body dysmorphic disorder treated?

Treatment for BDD likely will include a combination of the following therapies:

  • Psychotherapy: This is a type of individual counseling that focuses on changing the thinking (cognitive therapy) and behavior (behavioral therapy) of a person with BDD. The goal is to correct the false belief about the defect and to minimize the compulsive behavior.
  • Medication: The antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are showing promise in treating BDD.
  • Group and/or family therapy: Family support is very important to treatment success. It is important that family members understand BDD and learn to recognize its signs and symptoms.

What are the complications of body dysmorphic disorder?

The complications of BDD include the following:

  • Social isolation (loneliness) can occur if the person becomes too self-conscious to go out in public. This also can have a negative impact on school or work.
  • People with BDD also are at high risk for developing major depression and for suicide.
  • People with this disorder might have many surgical procedures in an attempt to correct their perceived defect.

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