Psychological medicine

Body dysmorphia in boys and young men

Psychological medicine

Body dysmorphia in boys and young men

ZOE JENKINS, DAVID CASTLE

Figures

© new africa/stock.adobe.com model used for illustrative purposes only
© new africa/stock.adobe.com model used for illustrative purposes only

Abstract

Body dysmorphic disorder shares anorexia nervosa’s hallmark clinical feature of disturbed body image, but it occurs as often in men as women. Young men and boys who are excessively concerned by perceived flaws in their appearance may hide their symptoms out of shame or embarrassment, but careful screening and questioning in general practice can uncover the problem.

Article Extract

Well known eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa (AN) or bulimia nervosa occur predominantly in women and girls, whereas body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a lesser known disorder that occurs at similar rates in both sexes.1 Although BDD is classified as an obsessive compulsive disorder, it shares AN’s hallmark clinical feature of disturbed body image.2,3 BDD is more common than AN and has an estimated prevalence of 2.2% in adolescents.4 However, there is lower awareness of the disorder among doctors and the community and it remains underdiagnosed in men and boys, who may be secretive about their symptoms because of embarrassment or shame, leading to reluctance to seek psychiatric treatment.5