Depression, anxiety, anger, and somatic symptoms in patients with body dysmorphic disorder

Psychiatr Q. Winter 2004;75(4):309-20. doi: 10.1023/b:psaq.0000043507.03596.0d.


Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a relatively common and impairing disorder. However, little is known about non-BDD symptoms and well-being in patients with this disorder. Seventy-five outpatients with DSM-IV BDD completed the Symptom Questionnaire, a validated self-report measure with four scales: depression, anxiety, somatic/somatization, and anger-hostility. Scores were compared to published norms for normal subjects and psychiatric outpatients. Participants in an open-label fluvoxamine trial completed the Symptom Questionnaire at baseline and endpoint. Compared to normal controls, BDD subjects had markedly elevated scores on all four scales, indicating severe distress and psychopathology. Compared to psychiatric patients, BDD subjects had higher scores on the depression, anxiety, and anger/hostility scales but not on the somatic/somatization scale. Scores on all scales significantly decreased with fluvoxamine. In conclusion, patients with BDD have markedly high levels of distress, are highly symptomatic, and have poor well-being in the domains of depression, anxiety, somatic symptoms, and anger-hostility. All of these symptoms significantly improved with fluvoxamine.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anger / drug effects
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / drug therapy
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Fluvoxamine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Somatoform Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Fluvoxamine