With treatment, the symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder can improve. Body dysmorphic disorder is usually treated with a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and medication.
There is no known way to prevent body dysmorphic disorder. However, because body dysmorphic disorder commonly begins in early adolescence, detecting the problem and initiating therapy early may be beneficial.
Long-term maintenance treatment may also help prevent body dysmorphic disorder symptoms from relapsing.
What treatments are there for body dysmorphia?
Body dysmorphia disorder is frequently treated with a mix of cognitive behavioural therapy and medications.
Body dysmorphic disorder cognitive behavioural therapy focuses on:
- Assisting you in understanding how negative ideas, emotional reactions, and behaviours contribute to the persistence of problems over time
- Changing your natural negative body image beliefs and developing more flexible ways of thinking
- Learning new strategies to deal with cravings or rituals can help you cut down on mirror checking, reassurance seeking, and overuse of medical services
- Other habits, such as addressing social avoidance and increasing participation with healthy supports and activities, can be taught to help you improve your mental health
You and your mental health physician can discuss your therapy objectives and create a specific treatment plan to help you acquire and improve coping skills. Involving family members in treatment, especially for teenagers, may be very beneficial.
Learn about our Intensive Treatment Programme for adults at Schoen Clinic Chelsea.
Medication for body dysmorphia
Medications used to treat other mental health illnesses such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder can be useful in treating body dysmorphia.
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are medicines that block the reuptake of serotonin (SSRIs). Because difficulties with the brain chemical serotonin may play a role in body dysmorphic disorder, SSRIs may be recommended. SSRIs appear to be more successful than other antidepressants for body dysmorphic disorder, and they may help you regulate your negative thoughts and repeated actions.
- Other medications are available. Depending on your symptoms, you may benefit from taking additional drugs in addition to an SSRI.
Severe body dysmorphia
Your body dysmorphic disorder symptoms may be severe enough to warrant inpatient care in some situations. This is usually only recommended if you can't keep up with your daily responsibilities or if you're in immediate danger of injuring yourself.