The mirror lies: Body dysmorphic disorder

Thomas J. Hunt, Ole Thienhaus, Amy Ellwood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Body dysmorphic disorder is an increasingly recognized somatoform disorder, clinically distinct from obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, and depression. Patients with body dysmorphic disorder are preoccupied with an imagined deficit in the appearance of one or more body parts, causing clinically significant stress, impairment, and dysfunction. The preoccupation is not explained by any other psychiatric disorder. Patients present to family physicians for primary care reasons and aesthetic or cosmetic procedures. Cosmetic correction of perceived physical deficits is rarely an effective treatment. Pharmacologic treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and nonpharmacologic treatment with cognitive behavior therapy are effective. Body dysmorphic disorder is not uncommon, but is often misdiagnosed. Recognition and treatment are important because this disorder can lead to disability, depression, and suicide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-222+223-224
JournalAmerican family physician
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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