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Keywords:

  • dysmorphophobia;
  • phenomenology;
  • OCD-spectrum disorders;
  • somatoform disorders;
  • insight;
  • comorbidity

Abstract

The relationship between obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is unclear. BDD has been proposed to be an OCD-spectrum disorder or even a type of OCD. However, few studies have directly compared these disorders' clinical features. We compared characteristics of subjects with OCD (n=210), BDD (n=45), and comorbid BDD/OCD (n=40). OCD and BDD did not significantly differ in terms of demographic features, age of OCD or BDD onset, illness duration, and many other variables. However, subjects with BDD had significantly poorer insight than those with OCD and were more likely to be delusional. Subjects with BDD were also significantly more likely than those with OCD to have lifetime suicidal ideation, as well as lifetime major depressive disorder and a lifetime substance use disorder. The comorbid BDD/OCD group evidenced greater morbidity than subjects with OCD or BDD in a number of domains, but differences between the comorbid BDD/OCD group and the BDD group were no longer significant after controlling for BDD severity. However, differences between the comorbid BDD/OCD group and the OCD group remained significant after controlling for OCD severity. In summary, OCD and BDD did not significantly differ on many variables but did have some clinically important differences. These findings have implications for clinicians and for the classification of these disorders. Depression and Anxiety 24:399–409, 2007. Published 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.