Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)

Explains body dysmorphic disorder, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family

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What can I do to help myself?

Treatment of BDD often includes a combination of strategies, including self-help. Below are some ideas you could try to help you manage your BDD:

Self-help materials

Many people find self-help materials, such as books or computer programs, useful in managing their BDD. Self-help materials are often based on CBT principles, which have been shown to be particularly effective in treating BDD. Making small steps to accept but challenge your worries can reduce your compulsive behaviours.

You may decide to use self-help materials alongside professional help, or you may use them to develop your own coping strategies. BDD Foundation, OCD-UK and OCD Action have self-help resources for BDD on their websites.

Several CBT programmes are available for free via computer or via prescription from your GP. See the NHS Choices website for more information on these.

Yoga and Pilates, a food diary, To Do lists, music and books – it's largely about having a routine that enables looking forward and steps of progress but also allows time to just be.

Self-care

Taking time to look after yourself, such as eating well and doing something you enjoy, can help to support your recovery and improve your quality of life. Take a look at our information on wellbeing for further guidance.

Dyeing my hair bright colours helps. It distracts me a little from everything else.


This information was published in May 2016. We will revise it in 2019.


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