skip to main content

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

or distorted body image

Dysmorphic means malformed or misshapen. While others may see an average or skinny kid, those with BDD may see a different person reflected in the mirror—and may actually avoid mirrors, in addition to social situations. They perceive themselves as having a disfiguring physical flaw, either imagined or a minor flaw blown out of proportion and deeply threatening. Beyond thinking they are “too fat,” they might describe themselves as “monstrous” or “an eyesore.”

Distorted perceptions can extend to the body’s relationship to physical space—for example, individuals with BDD may not perceive they can fit through physical space unless they are very thin. They may have difficulty with bodily-kinesthetic learning, a style of learning that relies on doing, exploring and discovering.

Often starting in adolescence, BDD is related to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and affects both genders in equal numbers.

Stay in Touch