Body Dysmorphic Disorder: The Disease of Self-Perceived Ugliness and its Relationship to OCD



Eda Gorbis, PhD, LMFT
June 7, 2018
- 1:00 pm

In this webinar, Dr. Gorbis will provide an overview on how to identify, assess, and diagnose Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). She will also discuss how to recognize and differentiate underlying structures and conditions and the complex interplay between BDD and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Dr. Gorbis will also provide an overview on treatment models to recognize, address, and reduce BDD symptoms.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a disabling condition that has been estimated to afflict 1 to 2 percent of the general population, which is nearly 5 million people in the United States alone. BDD is aptly described as the disease of “self-perceived ugliness.”

Most of us pay attention to our appearance but BDD sufferers worry excessively and unreasonably about some aspects of their appearance. They may be concerned that their nose is too big, chin misshapen, eyelids too puffy, breasts too small, hips too large, etc. If their facial pores are visible, they obsess that they have facial scarring. Any blemish such as acne, freckles or anything else becomes a focal point constantly drawing their attention and thoughts. These flaws may be non-existent or minimal, but you cannot reassure a BDD victim due to their lack of insight.

Similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), BDD patients experience obsessions and compulsions. In order to relieve their anxiety from their obsessive thoughts about their appearance, BDD patients may compulsively remove their skin, attempt self surgeries and even amputations in extreme cases. This can cause significant emotional distress (e.g. depression) and often significantly interfere with functioning.

Yet, most BDD patients do not seek psychiatric /psychological help. Their disease dictates the course of action and those who opt for non-psychiatric treatment will undergo unnecessary plastic surgeries and undertake life threatening procedures. Treatment for BDD includes: medication, exposure and response prevention (ERP), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and mindfulness-based behavioral therapy (MBBT).

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify, assess, and diagnose body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).
  2. Recognize and differentiate underlying structures and conditions and the complex interplay between BDD and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  3. Explain treatment modals to recognize, address, and reduce BDD symptoms and improve insight.

This webinar is no longer eligible for CE credit.

Presenter(s) Biography

Eda Gorbis, PhD, LMFT

Dr. Eda Gorbis, PhD, LMFT is the Founder and Executive Director of the Westwood Institute for Anxiety Disorders in Los Angeles, California and a Clinical Assistant Professor (V) at the USC Keck School of Medicine. The Westwood Institute is often called an intensive center of 'last resort' for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), and other anxiety disorders. By integrating treatment methods with a multidisciplinary team of experts, Dr. Gorbis has brought hundreds of people with prior treatment failures to normal functioning. Her expertise was prominently featured on programs, such as "20/20," "60 Minutes," and "MTV's True Life.”  She has given over 170 conference presentations on topics related to her intensive treatment of OCD, BDD, and anxiety disorders around the world.

Professional Post
CE/CME Accreditation Statement

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Learners complete an evaluation form to receive a certificate of completion. You must participate in the entire activity as partial credit is not available.  If you are seeking continuing education credit for a specialty not listed below, it is your responsibility to contact your licensing/certification board to determine course eligibility for your licensing/certification requirement.

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