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  • The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Program at Rhode Island Hospital

  • Prevalence

  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is Common

    The best research studies that have been done indicate that BDD affects about 2% of the population - or 1 in 50 people. This translates into more than 6 million people in the U.S. alone. 

    BDD is common among people who seek mental health treatment and among those who seek or receive dermatologic treatment or cosmetic surgery.

    Body Dysmorphic Disorder Is Under-Recognized and Underdiagnosed

    Here are some of the most common reasons:

    • Secrecy and shame: Many people with BDD don't reveal their concern about their appearance because they're too embarrassed and don't want to be considered vain. They don't want to draw more attention to the flaws they perceive by discussing them with other people.
    • Lack of familiarity with BDD and not recognizing that it's a real and serious disorder
    • Misdiagnosis as another disorder: BDD is often misdiagnosed as another disorder.
    • Pursuit of cosmetic treatment: Many people with BDD see dermatologists, plastic surgeons and other physicians, rather than mental health professionals. BDD often goes undiagnosed in cosmetic treatment settings.
    • Mistaking BDD for vanity: BDD isn't vanity, it's a serious, distressing and sometimes life-threatening condition.