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Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a mental health disorder characterised by the idea that aspects of one’s own body or appearance are severely flawed and that something significant needs to be done to either hide the flaws or to physically change them.

BDD tends to be classified in one of two types:

  1. Where the bodily flaws or delusional and not physically real, and
  2. In which the flaws are real wihin generally accepted norms.

Most sufferers perceive flaws in their hair, facial features or their skin.

Regardless of which type of body dysmorphic disorder is being experienced there is normally a high incidence of obsessive and intrusive thoughts about these flaws that lead to severe stress and anxiety and may make normal day-to-day functioning very difficult.

BDD affects males and females in roughly equal numbers but does tend to feature females more prominently in media stories about this problem.

Like many of the mental health disorders, body dysmorphic disorder has been categorised as being due to faulty underlying neurobiology however, despite years of biological research, no conclusive evidence for biological malfunction has been identified.

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Body Dysmorphic Disorder Symptoms

The main symptoms associated with Body Dysmorphic Disorder frequently include:

  • A severe dislike of some aspect of one’s appearance.
  • Depression.
  • Social anxiety and avoidance.
  • Paranoia that others are referencing or pointing out the flaws.
  • Frequent checking of one’s appearance.
  • Constant seeking of external approval and validation.
  • Skin picking or other attempts ot make physical changes to the flaws.
  • Other OCD related thoughts or behaviours.
  • Obsessive dieting or exercising.

BDD sufferers will often present for corrective cosmetic surgery and in those cases in which the flaws are largely delusional, no relief from the emotional distress is obtained often leading to a cycle in which more and more cosmetic modification is sought out.

Most cases of body dysmorphic disorder can be helped with psychotherapy, particularly CBT which directly addresses the distorted cognition assocaited with BDD.


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Diagnosis of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Technically, only a psychiatrist can diagnose a Body Dysmorphic Disorder, but in the UK general practitioners have tended to diagnose mental health problems by using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

The DSM lists specific symptoms against a range of disorders and whenever a person meets this criteria, they are said to be suffering from that disorder.

Diagnostic procedures do NOT make use of medical testing (for example blood tests) in order to produce a diagnosis, but rather is an opinion based on the observation of certain behaviours in the person who is suffering.

Because of this lack of verifiable medical testing, diagnosis remains a controversial subject, particularly within the psychological (non-medical) community.

However, in the UK access to support services is often contingent on receiving a diagnosis, so in this sense, a formal diagnosis may be useful.

Getting a Mental Health Diagnosis

Please be aware that Tranceform Psychology do not diagnose mental health disorders.

Our psychological counselling services do not require you to have been formally diagnosed but should you wish to obtain a formal mental health diagnosis, then please contact your GP who can arrange it for you.

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CBT for Body Dysmorphic Disorder

If you’re committed to overcoming your Body Dysmorphic Disorder then we highly recommend following our Tranceformental CBT 10 session programme.

The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic course of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand the psychological aspects of your problem.

It can also help you to identify any unhelpful thinking styles or limiting beliefs that might be reinforcing the issue.

The programme is also available as an online self-help CBT programme. if you prefer not to consult a therapist directly.

CBT is an empirically supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.

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Free Initial Consultations for Body Dysmorphic Disorder

We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial consultation to discuss your Body Dysmorphic Disorder prior to commencing any treatment plans.

The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.

During this consultation we will discuss the various therapy options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.

Initial consultations are also available as part of our online therapy service.

At Tranceform Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss any therapy treatments BEFORE proceeding.

Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.

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Buy Your CBT Course Here

You can purchase a course of Tranceformental CBT in our shop by clicking on any of the links below.

Self-Help CBT Course - £149

Course + 2 Clinical Sessions - £299

Course + 5 Clinical Sessions - £499

Course + 10 Clinical Sessions - £799

Get in Touch

Psychotherapist Paul Lee in Wombourne Clinic

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Tel: 07434 776125

Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist Joan Lee in Wombourne Clinic

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Tel: 07434 776504

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Tel: 07931 517241

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