chapter  14
16 Pages

Shame in body dysmorphic disorder

WithDAVID VEALE

The most extreme form of body shame is found in patients with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). BDD is perhaps the most puzzling of conditions described in this book. To most observers it is understandable why individuals with disfigurements might experience body shame. However, BDD patients have, by the defining criteria of the disorder, a normal appearance, yet believe themselves to be defective or ugly and may think of themselves as the ‘Elephant Man’. Furthermore, of all the conditions characterised by body shame, BDD patients are among the most distressed and handicapped by their appearance with a high rate of depression and suicide.