The importance of aesthetics in body dysmorphic disorder

CNS Spectr. 2002 Jun;7(6):429-31. doi: 10.1017/s1092852900017922.


It is hypothesized that body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) patients are firstly more "aesthetical," an attribute much like being musical, which varies between different individuals. This results in a greater emotional response to more attractive individuals and placing greater value on the importance of appearance in their identity compared with healthy individuals. Some BDD patients may have greater aesthetic perceptual skills. This is manifested in their education or training in art and design. Secondly, BDD patients may have higher aesthetic standards than the rest of the population. Their failure to achieve an unrealistic aesthetic standard is at the core of BDD, leading to severe distress and handicap.