How To Address Body Dysmorphic Disorder? Medication And Other Treatment Options

body dysmorphic disorder medication

Body dysmorphia is a mental disorder that causes individuals to have a distorted view of their appearance. People with body dysmorphia may obsess over one or more areas of their body and believe that they are ugly or defective. While there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for this condition, there are a few options that seem to be most effective. In this blog post, we will discuss the various types of body dysmorphic medications and treatment options available for people

What Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

What Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder (1)

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about their appearance and how others see them. BDD can lead to anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. People with BDD often have surgery to try to fix their perceived flaws, but this doesn’t always help.

This disorder is different from an eating disorder because people with BDD are not necessarily trying to lose weight. Instead, they’re fixated on a certain body part or feature that they believe is flawed. For example, someone with BDD might think their nose is too big or their skin is too wrinkled.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of BDD?

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of BDD?

The signs and symptoms of BDD divide into two categories: preoccupation and avoidance.

Preoccupation with a body part or appearance feature can involve any of the following

  • Checking the mirror excessively
  • Comparing oneself to others
  • Excessively grooming oneself
  • Excessive exercising
  • Skin picking

Avoidance can involve any of the following

  • Refusing to go out in public
  • Wearing excessive clothing to cover-up
  • Canceling social plans
  • Only going out at night when it is dark
  • Staying home from work or school

If you or someone you know is exhibiting these signs and symptoms, it is important to seek professional help. BDD is a treatable condition, but it often goes unrecognized and untreated. Left untreated, BDD can lead to isolation, depression, and even suicide. If you think you may have BDD, please reach out for help.

What Causes Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

What Causes Body Dysmorphic Disorder (1)

Different factors can contribute to the development of body dysmorphic disorder, including:


If you have a family member with BDD, you may be more likely to develop the condition. Genetics can also play a role in how severe your BDD symptoms are. If If you have a family member with OCD, you may be more likely to develop BDD.


If you live in a culture that places a high value on physical appearance, you may be more likely to develop BDD. This is especially true if you’re exposed to images of perfect-looking people through the media.

Brain Chemistry

People with BDD may have an imbalance of serotonin, a brain chemical that helps regulate mood. This imbalance can lead to anxiety and depression, which can make BDD symptoms worse.


Some people with BDD may have experienced physical or sexual abuse or other traumas during their childhood. These experiences can contribute to the development of BDD.

While the exact cause of BDD is not known, there are effective treatments available. Medication and therapy are both effective treatment options for BDD.

Do Medications Help In The Prevention Of OCD?

There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the use of medications to treat OCD. Some people believe that medications are not effective in treating OCD, while others find them to be helpful.

No one answer will work for everyone, and it is important to speak with your doctor about whether or not medication might be right for you. If you decide to try medication, it is important to be patient and give the medication time to work.

It can take several weeks or even months for the full effects of the medication to be felt. Medication is often used in conjunction with therapy, and this can be an effective treatment approach for many people.

If you are struggling with body dysmorphia, know that you are not alone. This is a very common disorder, and there are many resources available to help you.

How To Diagnose Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

After a medical evaluation to rule out the physical causes of the person’s distress, a mental health professional will ask questions to determine whether the individual meets the criteria for body dysmorphic disorder.

The Diagnostic of BDD depends on:

  • The person’s preoccupation with one or more perceived defects or flaws in appearance that are not observable or appear only slight to others
  • The intensity and duration of the preoccupation
  • The level of functional impairment caused by the preoccupation

Whether the preoccupation causes clinically significant distress. The mental health professional will also ask about social functioning, work, school, and relationships to get a sense of how much BDD interferes with daily life.

How To Treat Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

How To Treat Body Dysmorphic Disorder (2)

While there is no specific cure for body dysmorphic disorder, treatment can help lessen its symptoms. Various types of psychotherapy (talking therapy) are helpful, as well as medication.

Therapies For BDD

The most common form of psychotherapy used to treat body dysmorphic disorder is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This type of therapy helps a person identify and change negative thinking and behaviors that contribute to their distress. CBT can help a person with BDD to:

  • Recognize and change negative thinking patterns
  • Manage anxiety and fear
  • Prevent the condition from getting worse
  • Improve the quality of life

Exposure And Response Prevention (ERP)

This is a type of CBT that helps people with OCD manage their obsessions and compulsions. With ERP, a person is exposed to a trigger (something that makes them anxious) in a controlled way, without engaging in the compulsive behavior they typically would do to relieve their anxiety.

For example, someone with BDD who obsessively checks their appearance may be asked to not look in mirrors for a set period. This exposure can help lessen the urge to check and give the person practice in tolerating anxiety without resorting to their usual coping mechanism.

Medication For BDD

There are a few different types of medications that use to treat BDD. These include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, and antipsychotics. Antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed type of medication for BDD.

They can help reduce the anxiety and depression that comes with the condition. Anti-anxiety medication can also help reduce anxiety symptoms. And finally, antipsychotics prescribe if someone with BDD is also experiencing delusions or hallucinations related to their appearance.

If you or someone you know has BDD, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. There are many treatment options available, and with the right help, BDD manages successfully.


In conclusion, medication and other treatment options can be very effective in addressing body dysmorphia. It is important to work with a qualified mental health professional to determine the best course of treatment. If you or someone you know is struggling with body dysmorphia, please reach out for help.

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