Body Dysmorphic Disorder


What Body Dysmorphic Disorder is and how it impacts the world of contemporary aesthetic medicine

06 August 2021

Posted by: Redazione Sotherga

Reading time: 2 min

What does “Body Dysmorphic Disorder” mean


Body Dysmorphic Disorder is not discussed enough. This term refers to a mental health condition that causes a person to spend a lot of time focused on the flaws in their appearance. Very often these are non-objective flaws that are considered to be minimal or unnoticeable by peers.



Body Dysmorphic Disorder: 2% of the population suffers from it


A thought-provoking figure has appeared from scientific studies. It reports that a large percentage of patients suffering from BDD constantly resort to aesthetic treatments and cosmetic surgery. According to a study published in the Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience in 2010, about 2% (Jun) of the population is affected by BDD. This is a partial number because it is not certain that all those who suffer from BDD have already visited a doctor. Regardless, this is still a high number of people which exceeds the number of patients suffering for example from schizophrenia.



What’s the link between Body Dysmorphic Disorder and aesthetic medicine?


Among people who resort to cosmetic procedures, a good percentage have episodes of BDD. This can be easily understood because the individual who suffers from Body Dysmorphic Disorder recognizes a large number of aesthetic defects in his or her body, and tries in every means to correct them. The problem arises from the altered perception of those suffering from BDD: these are usually minimal defects, imperceptible to others. Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a mental problem, as those who suffer from it believe that it is a physical problem so they turn to an Aesthetic Doctor to find a solution. Of course, it is essential that the Aesthetic Doctor realizes that he or she has a patient suffering from BDD, and explains that undergoing an aesthetic intervention will not change the patient’s perception – and can even make things worse.



Patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder experience chronic dissatisfaction


The patient who is affected by Body Dysmorphic Disorder is extremely unlikely to be satisfied by any result achieved through a medical procedure. Even if the operation is perfectly successful the patient tends to focus on perceived defects precisely because we are talking about a mental pathology rather than physical one. This is why Aesthetic Doctors use screening questionnaires to help identify mental pathologies in their patients to make a rapid and objective assessment.


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