Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder is a serious mental health disorder that can have devastating consequences on the individuals it affects. It may sound harmless to become obsessed with imaginary flaws in appearance, but without effective body dysmorphic disorder treatment, body dysmorphic disorder symptoms can lead to drastic behavioral changes in an attempt to change one’s appearance. The problem with a body distortion disorder of this nature is that the obsession with appearance interferes with daily living.

Identifying Symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

According to Psychology Today, there are certain distorted thinking characteristics that are prevalent among people living with this type of disorder, which can range in severity from mild to severe. Those “faulty thoughts” include:

  • An attitude that they cannot be happy unless they meet certain standards of attractiveness (which they feel incapable of attaining).
  • They devote hours of mental energy each day fixating on their perceived flaws.
  • They obsess over the appearance of others as well as their own (spouses, siblings, children, etc.).
  • They constantly feel people are making fun of their appearance.
  • They constantly compare themselves to others they feel are more attractive or have fewer flaws.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges with getting people the body dysmorphic disorder treatment they need is the fact that all too often, they are hesitant to admit that there is a problem. They are too mortified by their perceived flaws to call attention to them and seeking body dysmorphic disorder treatment would be doing exactly that.

How Common Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

Despite the fact that so few people seek help through traditional body dysmorphic disorder treatment centers, the condition is much more common than most people realize, affecting nearly one of every 50 people according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

It commonly manifests in adolescence, between the ages of 12 and 13 and affects girls and boys in nearly equal numbers. Parents don’t need to force their teens to take a body dysmorphic disorder test. If you suspect your child may be fixated on appearance or displays the symptoms listed below you might want to consider seeking body dysmorphia treatment for your child.

  • Camouflaging (hiding perceived flaws with body positioning, makeup, hair, hats, and clothing).
  • Constantly comparing their appearance to others.
  • Requesting surgery.
  • Spending too much time grooming.
  • Constantly seeking reassurance (asking, “Do I look OK?”)
  • Avoids leaving the house – especially during the day.
  • Doubts when other people compliment their looks.
  • Seems anxious, ashamed, or depressed.
  • Picking his or her skin.
  • Avoiding mirrors.
  • Exercising too frequently.
  • Constantly checking mirrors.

The condition will manifest itself in different ways with different adolescents and may appear in combination or as a co-occurring condition with one of the following:

  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Depression

If you recognize these symptoms in your child, you probably don’t need a body dysmorphic disorder test to tell you your child needs body dysmorphic disorder treatment. Fortunately, Oliver-Pyatt Centers offers an excellent resource for your child to get the treatment she needs from this potentially devastating condition.

How Can Oliver-Pyatt Centers Help?

The highly-trained and professional staff at Oliver-Pyatt Centers understands how disproportionate the doubt is for teens living with this condition and offer the medical and psychological treatment they need to address their doubts and learn to view themselves through a more objective, less critical, lens. While there is no cure for this particular condition, there are effective treatments that will help your teen gain perspective about his or her appearance.

Treatments at Oliver-Pyatt Centers are medically based treatments offering the highest level of care outside of a hospital setting available to residents. It offers a combination of thorough medical and psychiatric management to help teens achieve more objective views of themselves while holding them accountable, to be honest in their criticisms of themselves and others.


Oliver-Pyatt Centers is grounded in mindfulness and the belief that each person has the capacity for a mindful relationship with food and their body. Present in every aspect of our program, this philosophy encompasses nutrition and eating, as well as movement, with an emphasis on becoming free from negative habits, behaviors and rigidity. We work from a place of empathy and wisdom, using a medically grounded, psychologically gentle approach.

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