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Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  1. Canice E. Crerand1,
  2. David B. Sarwer2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy2000

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Crerand, C. E. and Sarwer, D. B. 2010. Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

  2. 2

    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is characterized by extreme body image dissatisfaction. The disorder was first described in 1886 as dysmorphophobia in the European medical literature, but not officially included as a distinct diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association until 1987. According to the DSM-IV-R, diagnostic criteria include(1) a preoccupation with an imagined or slight appearance defect; if slight defect is apparent, the person's concern is extreme; (2) the preoccupation results in significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning; and (3) the preoccupation is not due to another psychiatric disorder (e.g., anorexia nervosa). A diagnosis of Delusional Disorder, Somatic Type can also be applied to persons who hold their distorted beliefs with delusional intensity. BDD is currently categorized as Somatoform Disorder, although it has been argued that it is more appropriately classified as an obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder or an affective spectrum disorder.


  • body dysmorphic disorder;
  • cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy;
  • psychopharmacology