Typical behaviours of someone with BDD

BDD can seriously affect daily life, often affecting work, social life and relationships.

A person with BDD may:

  • constantly compare their looks to other people's
  • spend a long time in front of a mirror, but at other times avoid mirrors altogether
  • spend a long time concealing what they believe is a defect
  • become distressed by a particular area of their body (most commonly their face)
  • feel anxious when around other people and avoid social situations
  • be very secretive and reluctant to seek help, because they believe others will see them as vain or self-obsessed
  • seek medical treatment for the perceived defect for example, they may have cosmetic surgery , which is unlikely to relieve their distress
  • excessively diet and exercise

Although BDD is not the same as OCD, there are some similarities. For instance, the person may have to repeat certain acts, such as combing their hair, applying make-up, or picking their skin to make it "smooth".

BDD can also lead to depression , self-harm and even thoughts of suicide .

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018