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 under diagnosed 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.