Suicidality in body dysmorphic disorder: a prospective study

Am J Psychiatry. 2006 Jul;163(7):1280-2. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.7.1280.


Objective: Cross-sectional/retrospective data have indicated that individuals with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) have high rates of suicidal ideation and attempts. However, no study, to the authors' knowledge, has prospectively examined suicidality in BDD.

Method: In the first prospective study of BDD's course, the authors examined suicidality in 185 subjects for up to 4 years.

Results: Suicidal ideation was reported by a mean of 57.8% of the subjects per year, and a mean of 2.6% attempted suicide per year. Two subjects (0.3% per year) completed suicide.

Conclusions: Individuals with BDD have high rates of suicidal ideation and attempts. The completed suicide rate is preliminary but suggests that the rate of completed suicide in BDD is markedly high.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis
  • Somatoform Disorders / epidemiology
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology*
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data*