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Patricia Escudero Rotman, Ph. D., LCSW, Clinical Psychologist (Arg.)

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Body Dysmorphic Disorder Treatment

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is characterized by a severe dissatisfaction with a perceived physical flaw. This flaw (e.g, a crooked nose, scars, facial asymmetry, cellulite) may be totally absent or be insignificant compared to the excessive preoccupation of the person. The disorder may lead to excessive checking (e.g. mirrors) or total avoidance of looking at their “defects” (e.g. they may cover mirrors or remove them from their houses). Frequently, the person may ask for reassurance which unfortunately provides temporary relief. It is also common that she or he believes that others are talking about their perceived flaw behind their backs and even making fun of them.

People with Body Dysmorphic Disorder are likely to avoid social situations or endure them with significant distress. They may often request expensive and painful medical procedures to correct their “physical flaws”. However, they are still dissatisfied with the results and end up feeling hopeless and frequently very depressed.

The most effective treatment for Body Dysmorphic Disorder is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This clinical modality includes in vivo exposure, imaginal exposure, in vivo exposure, response prevention, cognitive restructuring, relaxation training and psychoeducational interventions.