CBT for BDD

CBT is the effective therapy for Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

CBT is a research based form of psychotherapy that uses a variety of effective techniques to treat anxiety disorders. It focuses on how our thinking has a major impact on how we feel and behave. The cognitive therapy involve noticing, challenging and changing the underlying negative thoughts and beliefs. CBT starts from the scientifically proven foundation that our thoughts cause us to feel and act the way we do, rather than external triggers e.g. people, situations or events.

If you have BDD you may experience intrusive thoughts, feelings and pictures from the past that make you feel your safety behaviours (e.g. covering up, mirror checking) are important to protect you from harm. These thoughts tend to remain unshakable despite reassurance from others.

The behaviour therapy part involves slowly reducing your unhelpful habits to test whether your fears are correct. You are then taught to replace them with more healthy life enhancing behaviours.

People with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) see themselves as ugly and disgusting. BDD is an anxiety disorder but it is often misread by professionals as depression or panic.

It often goes undiagnosed and treated but it is possible to treat it effectively with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques (and medication if needed).

It usually starts in adolescence and is equally common amongst men and women In severe cases it can lead to self-disfigurement, addiction to drugs or alcohol, and depression. One in four affected by BDD attempt suicide Research shows that it affects 1-2% of our population in the UK.



Signs and Symptoms


Here is a list of the common signs of BDD

Frequently comparing appearance with that of others

Repeatedly checking the appearance of the specific body part in mirrors or other reflective surfaces

Refusing to have pictures taken

Wearing excessive clothing, makeup and hats to camouflage the perceived flaw

Using hands or posture to hide the imagined defect

Frequently touching the perceived flaw

Picking at one's skin

Frequently measuring the imagined or exaggerated defect

Elaborate grooming rituals

Excessive researching about the perceived defective body part

Seeking surgery or other medical treatment despite contrary opinions or medical recommendations

Seeking reassurance about the perceived defect or trying to convince others that it's abnormal or excessive

Avoiding social situations in which the perceived flaw might be noticed

Feeling anxious and self-conscious around others (social phobia) because of the imagined defect

People with severe body dysmorphic disorder may drop out of school, quit their jobs or avoid leaving their homes. In the most severe cases, people with BDD may consider or attempt suicide.

Certain physical obsessions are common in a person with body dysmorphic disorder. These include: Overall size, shape or symmetry of a certain facial feature, such as size or shape of nose Moles or freckles perceived as too large or noticeable Acne and blemishes Minor scars or skin abrasions Too much facial or body hair Baldness Breast size Muscles perceived as too small Size or shape of genitalia.

If you want help with overcoming BDD then please contact us to discuss your problems or to book an assessment - 0161 8345888