History of BDD
Theories of Causes
Personal Accounts

Glossary of Terms

Glossary of BDD Terms

Here, you will find an ever growing list of terms that are related to Body Dysmorphic Disorder. If you don't understand something on this site, please refer to this list, and hopefully you will find a definition for what you are looking for. Since little has been written on the disorder, our support group has come up with quite a few original words. If you would like any terms added to this list of definitions, please email your suggestions to:

BDD Acronym for Body Dysmorphic Disorder
BDDer A person with BDD
BDD Attack When a person with BDD is so overwhelmed with feelings of self-hatred, they can no longer function properly. Suicide is often considered at this time. BDD attacks eventually pass, and can be followed by normal functioning, or a BDD episode
BDD Episode A BDD episode occurs when a person with BDD is having a day filled with self doubt, comparing themselves to others, and constantly worrying and filled with anxiety
Compulsions An irresistible impulse to act, regardless of the rationality of the motivation
Delusional A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness
Dysmorphophobia An alternate name for BDD. It was the original name of the disorder
Imagined Ugliness Syndrome A nickname sometimes used when referring to BDD
Katharine Phillips One of the leading authorities researching BDD. She has also written a book on the disorder called, The Broken Mirror
Mirror Checking Behavior often preformed by a person with BDD. They may sit in front of a mirror for a varying length of time, observing features, picking at skin, touching features, etc.
NonBDDer A person that does not have BDD
Obsessions A compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion. People with BDD are usually obsessed with an imperfection in appearance
OCD Acronym for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Many believe that this disorder may be closely linked with BDD
Rituals A detailed method of procedure faithfully or regularly followed. Two common BDD rituals are checking one's reflection in a reflective surface, or skin picking
SSRI Acronym for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. It is a class of drugs, such as fluoxetine or sertraline, that inhibit the uptake of serotonin by neurons of the central nervous system and are primarily used in the treatment of depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as BDD
Trichotillomania The compulsion to tear or pluck out the hair on one's head and face and often to ingest it. Many people with BDD find that they also have trichotillomania

Some definitions were taken from the following source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.