Body dysmorphia therapy & help online. Your best options for Body Dysmorphic Disorder (DSM 5).
Although an estimated 1 in 50 people suffer with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), it is still a greatly misunderstood affliction. Many people assume it is related to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and whilst they share some similar symptoms, body dysmorphic disorder is more closely related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
On a side note, if you are personally struggling with body dysmorphic disorder (DSM 5) related issues, then be sure to get help from someone specialized in BDD treatment, you can do that by filling out this questionnaire (includes pricing) or filling out our contact form here.
The current edition of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM 5), the main source of diagnostic information for doctors, changed the definition of BDD from the DSM-IV edition. Previously considered a somatoform disorder, psychological disorders with physical symptoms that are not explained by or are inconsistent with any underlying medical condition, including hypochondria, body dysmorphic disorder dsm 5 is now classed as an obsessive-compulsive and related disorder.
So how do you know if you have body dysmorphic disorder dsm 5, anorexia nervosa, OCD or a healthy concern for your appearance?
BDD or OCD?
Body dysmorphic disorder dsm 5 is characterised by a disabling preoccupation with one’s appearance, leading to obsessive-compulsive behaviour such as excessively exercising or checking yourself out in mirrors. Many sufferers wouldn’t think twice about having cosmetic surgery or similar invasive treatment to satisfy their anxiety.
Whilst these behaviours can be similar to those found in OCD sufferers, BDD preoccupations are focused specifically on appearance. This excessive worrying about physical appearance and the resulting compulsive behaviour are also symptoms of anorexia nervosa. However, an eating disorder will be somebody’s primary diagnosis if they are focused on weight and shape, rather than their entire image or areas of the body such as skin or hair.
Why online body dysmorphia therapy?
A landmark study from 2014 that aimed to improve access to help for body dysmorphic disorder, found that only around 10-17% of BDD sufferers claim to have received psychotherapy. Whilst appropriate therapy can be limited by location, financial restrictions and any number of things, the main reason for not seeking psychological treatment was directly linked to symptoms of BDD.
Many sufferers feel too ashamed to seek face to face therapy either because of their perceived appearance issues or the negative reaction they expect to get for asking for help with image problems.
This is where body dysmorphia help online comes in useful. Not only is it generally cheaper than traditional face to face treatment, but you will never have to leave your house, let alone worry about people judging your appearance or your decision to seek help.
As with more traditional face to face therapy, the relationship between patient and therapist is crucial to a successful course of treatment. There are a handful of websites and apps boasting body dysmorphia help online and choosing the one that is right for you shouldn’t be a challenge.
With that in mind, we at psychologyhelp.com have put together a brief overview of some options for online body dysmorphia therapy (body dysmorphia help online).
Arguably the largest online counselling site, betterhelp offers 24/7 access to a therapist. Betterhelp provides the most comprehensive sources covering body dysmorphia help online and online body dysmorphia therapy.
Sheltering pretty much every issue, from body dysmorphic disorder DSM 5 and OCD to more common complaints, betterhelp is aimed to match your specific personal situation with the most suitable online help.
BDD-NET is the result of the 2014 study by scientists at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. It is essentially an online program that aims to treat moderate to severe body dysmorphic disorder.
Using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with exposure and response prevention (ERP), BDD-NET trials saw an improvement of symptoms in 69% of users after 2 years of starting the program. Although these trials used the Swedish language version of the program, similar benefits have been noted with the English language equivalent. However, the English version has not been compared to traditional care for BDD in the UK.
Whilst cheaper than face to face one on one therapy, BDD-NET is more expensive than group therapy. At present the online system can handle 10,000 concurrent users, raising scalability concerns and access is restricted, meaning that you can’t self-refer to the service.
Criticisms over the textbook like structure of the program and the use of complex language, along with evidence that other forms of CBT are more successful with patients with mild symptoms of BDD, have led to BDD-NET being an option solely for those with severe symptoms.
A straightforward, easy to use website, psychologyhelp.com has therapists trained in CBT and experienced in body dysmorphia help online. Unlike BDD-NET you can refer yourself with a simple click on this website and someone will be in touch within 24 hours to discuss your needs.
As psychologyhelp.com specialises in therapy for a range of issues, it is suitable for those with mild to severe symptoms of BDD. No official diagnosis is needed to benefit from online body dysmorphia therapy with psychologyhelp.com, just a willingness to participate with the treatment.
Online body dysmorphia therapy with psychologyhelp.com is available wherever you are as long as you have internet access. However, it is usually advisable to be somewhere where you can focus as CBT is quite involved.
Another source of online body dysmorphia therapy, mytherapistonline features articles on the topic. Featuring basic CBT that helps to formulate an agreement about how the problem is treated, rather than reassure you about your appearance, this website claims the treatment is only effective in mild cases of BDD.
Local online support groups
The BDD foundation and UK based charity, Mind, are among several sources of online support groups. Whilst they do not offer official therapy, they can give, often anonymous, support and much needed confidence to help seek treatment, making them a good place to start if anxiety is holding you back.
Please note that these services are not for emergencies. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger to themselves or others, please contact your local emergency services for assistance.