Body Dysmorphic Disorder, otherwise known as Dymorphophobia, is also called the "Imagined Ugliness Syndrome." Not only does the person have a preoccupation with an imagined defect of their body, usually their face, they are obsessed with mirrors, either constantly looking at themselves for reassurance that nothing is there or completely avoiding mirrors. Many people with BDD get numerous plastic surgeries done on them, but, of course, this doesn't help the problem.

In my abnormal psychology class, we watched a video about a man who was diagnosed with BDD. He talked about how he wouldn't look at people because he was afraid they'd be thinking, "Oh God, look at that thing on his face." He'd constantly check mirrors or windows or even the backs of spoons to check himself. Then one day, he saw a flyer advertising a support group for people suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD for short. He attended the meeting and thought that OCD sounded a little like what he had except he didn't wash his hands multiple times a day. I actually think it was by luck that he learned about BDD. But this just indicates that BDD is related to OCD. Besides behavioral therapy, a person suffering from body dismorphic disorder can take medication that helps OCD.

Synonyms and Related Keywords: dysmorphic syndrome, dermatological hypochondriasis, dermatological nondisease, body dysmorphic disorder, monosymptomatic hypochondriasis, delusions of dysmorphosis

Frequency: About as much as 1% of the population suffer from dysmorphophobia. Interestingly enough, usually the people suffering from BDD are ones who are receiving dermatological care. Of people receiving dermatological care, 11.9% have BDD.

The male to female ratio is about equal.

The causes of BDD are unknown, but the most it is thought that heredity contributes to developing BDD.

Dysmorphophobia wasn't recognized as a typical somatoform disorder by the DSM-III until the 1980s. Usually people with BDD suffer from other types of disorders like OCD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or schizoid personality.