What is BDD?

If like many people you don't know what Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is, you've stumbled across one of our biggest problems; there's not enough information available.

BDD is a preoccupation with one or more slight or perceived flaws in appearance. BDD is often referred to as 'imagined ugliness', it's where someone becomes so hung up over their body image that it starts to have a negative effect on their entire life and this can range from continual extreme thoughts about corrective surgery, to being completely housebound.

It’s important to understand that people with BDD are not vain or attention seeking. People with BDD perceive themselves as flawed or ugly and tend to be isolated because they believe others will think they are vain, therefore preventing them seeking help.

BDD also shares many side effects with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Manic Depression and affects men and women equally.

What are the symptoms of BDD?

Sufferers of BDD usually focus on their “flaws” for over an hour a day and it will affect one or aspects of their life. They will also tend to avoid certain situations such as having their photograph taken, close up interactions, bright lights, lots of mirrors etc.

Sufferers are not necessarily house-bound but will remain very self-conscious in everything they do. The following are things to look out for:

  • Checking your appearance in a mirror or reflective surface obsessively.
  • Continually seeking reassurance about your appearance.
  • Cutting your own or combing your hair to make it look right.
  • Picking your skin to make it perfect.
  • Comparing yourself with other people, including celebrities in magazines.
  • Depressive thoughts in relation to body image.

Read More


Who are we?

BODY is a national charitable organisation that actively celebrates individuality and strives to cure those with body disorders such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). We believe in 'Being One Distinguished You' because we are ALL unique and we are ALL beautiful. Click here to read more.

Stories and Testimonials

Go to our Stories and Testimonials page to hear from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) sufferers and their family and friends.

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Ok, truth time. In my younger days, I used to be pretty spiteful; that girl who always said “Did you see what she was wearing?!” or “Does she own a mirror!” I would buy women’s magazines and pore over the “Who wore it best?” section, comparing and critiquing the appearance of celebrities whom I’d never met. That was me.

When does it become an obsession?

If you think you might be suffering from Body Dysmorphia, you might have done the savvy thing and look up the symptoms online.

The symptoms include the following:

Am I normal? Are you normal?

This is one question I find constantly being asked.

‘Am I Normal?’

The simple answer is Yes! Do you believe me? Probably not, but hear me out...

Getting some decent sleep is something we take for granted. A silly thing to some, with us working longer shifts, having a worse work/life balance than ever and our time generally becoming such a costly quality.

Choosing a topic in my final year of my University degree, already having a huge personal interest in women and popular culture - plus volunteering at BODY a body image charity, I felt writing about the possibilities of how the media can potentially influence teenage girls’ future aspirations in their careers an interesting subject.