Facing Insecurities With Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is more than being fixated on one part of your image; the preoccupation on seemingly small aspects of your appearance can be crippling. The insecurity over flaws, visible or not, can lead to serious emotional distress, depression, anxiety, and shame.

So what can we do to better understand and address BDD, whether we have it or know someone who does? Is it possible to overcome the condition?

Audience Questions

Roberto Olivardia, PhD, explains the ways that BDD can be life-altering, discusses the factors that can contribute to body dysmorphic disorder, and answers questions about ways to navigate body insecurities and self-consciousness.

  • What is body dysmorphic disorder, and what are some of the most common misunderstandings about the condition?
  • How do you separate an eating disorder from BDD? How do you tease this out in evaluation?
  • You’ve mentioned that BDD can occur with other disorders. Do you find that a different route of treatment may be required to address the “other disorder” if BDD is an additional diagnosis?
  • What are some of the most common symptoms that indicate that either you, or someone you love, may be struggling with body dysmorphia?
  • Can you speak to the relationship between cosmetic surgeries and body dysmorphic disorder?
  • Any recommendations on treating someone with BDD who continues to have multiple surgeries?
  • Are you familiar with any research or statistics around BDD and transgender populations?
  • Can you talk about BDD in men, including muscle dysmorphia?
  • Do you think there’s a relationship between BDD and the increased use of social media, Zoom, and technology, including filters on apps?
  • What are some of the things that you should not say or do when interacting with someone who has BDD? How can we support someone who has a diagnosis of body dysmorphia?
  • Can you discuss some of the ways body dysmorphia can be treated?
  • Any books or resources you’d recommend to learn more about BDD?

Resources

About Dr. Olivardia

Roberto Olivardia, PhD, has been treating patients for the last 20 years since his internship at McLean Hospital. He runs a private practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he specializes in the treatment of body dysmorphic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, ADD/ADHD, skin picking disorder, and males with eating disorders. Dr. Olivardia also treats patients with other anxiety and mood disorders.

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