24 min

CBT for Body Dysmorphic Disorder Let's Talk About CBT

    • Health & Fitness

 
Most of us have some worries about how we look, but what if those worries get so bad they stop you being able to go out? 
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a serious problem but it can be overcome, as Gareth explains. 
Gareth and Prof David Veale talk to Dr Lucy Maddox.
This show includes mention of suicide.
Show Notes and Transcript
For more information have a look at...
Websites
The website of the BABCP is at babcp.com. 
To find an accredited CBT therapist go to http://www.cbtregisteruk.com.
The website of the BDD Foundation is at: https://bddfoundation.org/
You can find questionnaires, information, videos of people with BDD speaking about their experience and resources about where to seek help.
This Australian website has self-help booklets on BDD: https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/
Books
A really good book by David is this one: Overcoming Body Image Problems by David Veale and Rob Wilson.
Gareth recommends looking through when you're not too anxious, and persevering even if it doesn't reduce your anxiety straight away as it will help you hit the ground running with therapy.
Credits
Editing consultation: Eliza Lomas
Music: Gabe Stebbing
Picture: Vince Fleming from Unsplash
Transcript
Lucy: Hi, and welcome to Let’s Talk About CBT, the podcast made by the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, BABCP. This podcast is all about CBT, what it is, what it’s not and how it can be useful.  

In this episode we explore CBT for body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD. BDD involves being really preoccupied with perceived defects in your appearance.  

Most of us will experience dissatisfaction about some aspect of how we look, but body dysmorphic disorder is much more severe. It’s really distressing and it really gets in the way of people’s lives.  

I went to hear first-hand about what it’s like to experience BDD.  

Gareth: Yes, my name is Gareth, I’m an ex-sufferer of BDD and I’ve had CBT for BDD in the past.  

When I had BDD I really believed that I was very ugly, that I had very deformed features and that other people would notice these and treat me differently because of them.  

I used to worry about my nose, that it was too big and that it was just sort of unattractive. That my face was too thin, this may sound funny, but that my head was too small for my body, proportionately. I guess there were some other concerns that my eyes bulged out of my head and things like that and that I was just too skinny overall. But I think the main things were nose and jaw.  

Lucy: Did it sort of creep up on you or did it happen quite suddenly? 

Gareth: No, I think it definitely crept up on me. It was interesting, in therapy, looking back and thinking where it started from; I had some very clear memories from earlier in life. When I was eight years old and then a little bit later, but then it crept in during my teenage years and it was only when I got to 17 or so that it really sort of mushroomed and the anxiety just became very disabling.  

I think because it becomes all encompassing, it starts to affect all areas of your life and a part of the condition is you develop a lot of behaviours in response to the preoccupation, I guess. So for me, I would often research surgical procedures online for hours on end or take photographs or videos of myself and analyse them for long periods of time. Or look in mirrors for long periods of time analysing my perceived defects and thinking about how I could change them or improve them.  

But also, avoiding a lot of things because of my concerns about the way I looked. I guess the two things operated in tandem. As the behaviours around mirror checking and things started to increase, then the avoidance did as well and I became more and more withdrawn from the world. It was really a very distressing and unpleasant period of time.  

Some of these activities, once you get hooked into i

 
Most of us have some worries about how we look, but what if those worries get so bad they stop you being able to go out? 
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a serious problem but it can be overcome, as Gareth explains. 
Gareth and Prof David Veale talk to Dr Lucy Maddox.
This show includes mention of suicide.
Show Notes and Transcript
For more information have a look at...
Websites
The website of the BABCP is at babcp.com. 
To find an accredited CBT therapist go to http://www.cbtregisteruk.com.
The website of the BDD Foundation is at: https://bddfoundation.org/
You can find questionnaires, information, videos of people with BDD speaking about their experience and resources about where to seek help.
This Australian website has self-help booklets on BDD: https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/
Books
A really good book by David is this one: Overcoming Body Image Problems by David Veale and Rob Wilson.
Gareth recommends looking through when you're not too anxious, and persevering even if it doesn't reduce your anxiety straight away as it will help you hit the ground running with therapy.
Credits
Editing consultation: Eliza Lomas
Music: Gabe Stebbing
Picture: Vince Fleming from Unsplash
Transcript
Lucy: Hi, and welcome to Let’s Talk About CBT, the podcast made by the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, BABCP. This podcast is all about CBT, what it is, what it’s not and how it can be useful.  

In this episode we explore CBT for body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD. BDD involves being really preoccupied with perceived defects in your appearance.  

Most of us will experience dissatisfaction about some aspect of how we look, but body dysmorphic disorder is much more severe. It’s really distressing and it really gets in the way of people’s lives.  

I went to hear first-hand about what it’s like to experience BDD.  

Gareth: Yes, my name is Gareth, I’m an ex-sufferer of BDD and I’ve had CBT for BDD in the past.  

When I had BDD I really believed that I was very ugly, that I had very deformed features and that other people would notice these and treat me differently because of them.  

I used to worry about my nose, that it was too big and that it was just sort of unattractive. That my face was too thin, this may sound funny, but that my head was too small for my body, proportionately. I guess there were some other concerns that my eyes bulged out of my head and things like that and that I was just too skinny overall. But I think the main things were nose and jaw.  

Lucy: Did it sort of creep up on you or did it happen quite suddenly? 

Gareth: No, I think it definitely crept up on me. It was interesting, in therapy, looking back and thinking where it started from; I had some very clear memories from earlier in life. When I was eight years old and then a little bit later, but then it crept in during my teenage years and it was only when I got to 17 or so that it really sort of mushroomed and the anxiety just became very disabling.  

I think because it becomes all encompassing, it starts to affect all areas of your life and a part of the condition is you develop a lot of behaviours in response to the preoccupation, I guess. So for me, I would often research surgical procedures online for hours on end or take photographs or videos of myself and analyse them for long periods of time. Or look in mirrors for long periods of time analysing my perceived defects and thinking about how I could change them or improve them.  

But also, avoiding a lot of things because of my concerns about the way I looked. I guess the two things operated in tandem. As the behaviours around mirror checking and things started to increase, then the avoidance did as well and I became more and more withdrawn from the world. It was really a very distressing and unpleasant period of time.  

Some of these activities, once you get hooked into i

24 min

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