Body dysmorphic disorder: insight into the somatoform disorder
Guiot, Stacey L.
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Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or BDD, is a prevalent disease that affects children, adolescence, and adults. Its onset is usually in late childhood/early adolescence, and the disorder frequently extends for the lifetime ofthe patient. The disorder has been in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual ofMental Disorders since its third edition as a somatoform disorder. The primary definition of BDD centers around the fact that those suffering from the disorder have a preoccupation with an imagined defect in their physical appearance that is usually not seen from an outsider's perspective. This preoccupation results in impairment in one's social life, education, and employment atmosphere. Through various research projects, it has been discovered that BDD shares many common similarities to other disorders, including obsessive-compulsive, social anxiety, and eating disorders. Like obsessive-compulsive disorder, those with BDD have several types of obsessions and compulsions, such as mirror checking for multiple hours a day to study their defect. This can further lead into the yearning desire to obtain cosmetic surgery. Patients with BDD often suffer from anxiety and depression, which can result in a low educational level, no employment, and trouble being in any sort of relationship. These symptoms tend to be more severe in those with the non-delusional form of BDD versus the delusional form. Research via functional Magnetic Resonance Imaginf and other imaging techniques has shown that those suffering from BDD may have different brain patterns than healthy subjects, especially concerning spatial frequency. Currently there are no FDA-approved medications specifically for the treatment ofBDD, but serotonin-reuptake inhibitors often used to treat depression have shown to be successful in alleviating BDD symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention, and interpersonal psychotherapy, are also implemented as alternative treatment options to pharmacological therapy. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual ofMental Disorders is expected to be released in 2013 addressing the new information that has resulted from the great amount of research that has been conducted in the past decade and a half.
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