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Adolescent Psychiatry


ISSN (Print): 2210-6766
ISSN (Online): 2210-6774

Review Article

Body Dysmorphic Disorder in Adolescents

Author(s): Himanshu Sharma*, Bharti Sharma and Nisheet Patel

Volume 9, Issue 1, 2019

Page: [44 - 57] Pages: 14

DOI: 10.2174/2210676608666181031105706


Background and Objectives: Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is characterized by an abnormal preoccupation with alleged misshapen body parts. There is often poor insight and effort is made to hide the imagined defects, and consultation may be sought seeking unnecessary cosmetic surgery or procedures. It is underdiagnosed and established treatment protocols are lacking. The disease has a chronic and undulating course and is seriously compromises quality of life. Despite the fact that the prime age of onset of BDD is during adolescence relatively little has been written about it during this phase of life. This review aims to comprehensively cover the present understanding of BDD, including clinical features, epidemiology, psychopathology, nomenclature, comorbidity and management.

Methods: A literature search was undertaken using suitable key words on Google Scholar, MEDLINE & PsychoINFO up to June 2018 limited to articles in English.

Results: The prevalence of BDD is variable in the general and psychiatric population with equal gender distribution. Both sexes are equally affected. It is associated with poor functioning and a chronic course. There is considerable comorbidity and diagnostic overlap between BDD and obsessive-compulsive disorder, major depressive disorder, social anxiety disorder, anorexia nervosa, schizophrenia spectrum disorders and personality disorders. Psychiatric consultation is often late. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) are currently the first line modalities for treatment. Internet based CBT, Acceptance and commitment therapy, and repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) are emerging treatment options.

Conclusions: BDD is a complex disorder with still lot of uncertainty about its diagnostic placement, treatment approaches, especially for refractory patients, and prognosis. Further study is needed to clarify its prevalence, especially in adolescents; to fully understand its neurobiological aspects, to determine its exact relation to obsessive compulsive related disorders, and to develop better treatment approaches.

Keywords: Body dysmorphic disorder, history, nomenclature, epidemiology, clinical features, comorbidity, management.

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