Treatment barriers for individuals with body dysmorphic disorder: an internet survey

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2011 Apr;199(4):268-71. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31821245ce.


Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterized by perceived defects in one's appearance, accompanied by severe distress and interference in the person's life. To date, mental health care for BDD is still in the early phases of development, and although recent research on psychotropic medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy has been promising (review mentioned in , Behav Res Ther. 44:99-11), it is unclear yet how many BDD sufferers seek treatment, and if not, for which reasons. To shed some light on these questions, 172 individuals with self-reported BDD participated in an internet survey. Only 23.3% (n = 40) had been diagnosed with BDD by a mental health professional. In all, 19.8% (n = 34) were currently receiving psychosocial treatment, and 18.6% (n = 32) were taking psychotropic medication for their appearance concerns. The reasons for not receiving treatment are discussed in the light of the need to find new strategies to get individuals with BDD into appropriate mental health care.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / drug therapy
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / psychology*
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / therapy
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care* / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotherapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires