Body dysmorphic disorder, a distressing and impairing preoccupation with an imagined or slight defect in appearance, is an intriguing and under-recognized disorder that has only recently been systematically studied. Recent research findings indicate that body dysmorphic disorder is relatively common, causes notable distress and impairment in functioning, and is associated with markedly poor quality of life. Available data on treatment response, while still limited, suggest that serotonin-reuptake inhibitors and cognitive-behavioral therapy are often effective for body dysmorphic disorder. Further research is needed on all aspects of this understudied and severe mental disorder.
aBrown University School of Medicine and Butler Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA and bSchool of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
Correspondence to Katharine Phillips, MD Butler Hospital, 345 Blackstone Blvd., Providence, RI 02906, USA. Tel: +1 401 455 6490; fax: +1 401 455 6539; e-mail: Katharine_Phillips@brown.edu