Seeking Help for Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Part 2

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Furthermore, ineffective psychological and mental health remedies also exist. Sufferers and their families should be wary of mental health professionals who claim to be able to cure BDD using techniques that exclusively focus on

  • Analyzing dreams and old memories,
  • Digging up old traumas,
  • Searching for evidence of past sexual abuse,
  • Hypnosis,
  • Physical manipulation,
  • Deep massage,
  • Diet,
  • Channeling,
  • Searching for past lives, or
  • The use of herbs or acupuncture.

There is no evidence that such methods alone are effective for treating BDD. Spending time and money pursuing these ineffective treatments will simply result in prolonged anguish and pain, added frustration, a waste of resources and the potentially erroneous belief that mental health approaches are not right for the problem.

Some talking treatments by themselves are not effective for treating BDD but may enable sufferers to regroup, better understand their illness and its effect on their lives, and regain equilibrium and perspective. These treatments, which may focus on discussions of one’s current life stressors and interpersonal problems, or on getting emotional support, may be beneficial when used during or after the treatments effective for BDD.

Not all psychiatrists or psychologists are fully familiar with modern treatments for BDD or its close relative, obsessive-compulsive disorder. Referrals should be sought from one’s primary care physician, local mental health associations or national agencies for professionals who are informed and experienced in these treatments.

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