recorded webinar

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



Eda Gorbis, PhD, LMFT
Thursday, June 07, 2018 12:00 pm
- 1:00 pm ET

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

Member Since 2008

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.

Dr. Gorbis and ADAA

"Back in 1994, I applied for a poster presentation for the ADAA annual conference based on my observations that there is a certain group of patients whose onset of OCD began after a certain level of trauma/PTSD. ADAA's committee accepted my presentation for a symposium which was supervised and led by one of the leading experts in the world on OCD and PTSD: Dr. Edna Foa (also an ADAA member). 

Once the poster was accepted, an unbelievable buzz went through the OCD and anxiety disorder community at UCLA. This incredible association not only accepted my paper but also found it to be important enough to be presented at the conference. Had it not been for that day at ADAA, my career could not have skyrocketed the way it did, and I would not have achieved the same levels of success. The acceptance that I felt at that conference and the sense of exuberance that rushed over me means more to me than any other peaks that I have experienced in my career. Not even the appearances on documentaries and TV shows nor the multiple awards I received could surpass the moment my supervisor passed a quiet remark that today marked the day I was accepted within the anxiety disorders community. Ever since then, I have given hundreds of presentations, and I have never missed one with the ADAA conference.

For me, ADAA was the first step in my professional journey and helped me gain the confidence to step onto other big and bright stages later in my career. I believe that ADAA can be that same stepping-stone for other young professionals. ADAA offers an incredible professional stage for anyone looking to begin their career."

Professional Post

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