Although you may start out talking with your primary care provider about your concerns, you'll likely be referred to a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, for evaluation and treatment.
What you can do
Before your appointment, make a list of:
- Any symptoms you or your family noticed, and for how long. Ask friends or family members if they've felt concerned about your behavior and what they've noticed.
- Key personal information, including traumatic events in your past and any current, major stressors. Find out about your family's medical history, including any history of mental illness such as body dysmorphic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Your medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions with which you've been diagnosed.
- All medications you take, including the names and doses of any medications, herbs, vitamins or other supplements you're taking.
- Questions you want to ask your doctor to make the most of your appointment.
Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What do you think is most likely causing my symptoms?
- What are other possible causes of my symptoms?
- Could behavior therapy be helpful?
- Are there medications that might help?
- How long will treatment take?
- What can I do to help myself?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed materials that I can have?
- Are there any websites that you can recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask additional questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Be ready to answer questions your doctor or mental health provider may ask, such as:
- Are you concerned about your appearance?
- When did you first begin worrying about your appearance?
- How is your daily life affected by your symptoms?
- How much time do you spend each day thinking about your appearance?
- What other treatment, if any, have you had?
- What cosmetic procedures, if any, have you had?
- What have you tried on your own to feel better or control your symptoms?
- What things make you feel worse?
- Have friends or family commented on your mood or behavior?
- Do you have any relatives who've been diagnosed with a mental illness?
- What do you hope to gain from treatment?
- What medications, herbs or other supplements do you take?
April 28, 2016
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- Phillips KA. Body dysmorphic disorder. In: Gabbard's Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2014. http://psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.books.9781585625048.gg22. Accessed March 24, 2016.
- Body dysmorphic disorder. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric-disorders/obsessive-compulsive-and-related-disorders/body-dysmorphic-disorder. Accessed March 24, 2016.
- Veale D, et al. Body dysmorphic disorder. BMJ. 2015;350:h2278.
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- Greenberg JL, et al. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adolescent body dysmorphic disorder: A pilot study. Behavior Therapy. 2016;47:213.
- Body dysmorphic disorder. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/body-dysmorphic-disorder-bdd. Accessed March 24, 2016.
- Sawchuk CN (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 12, 2016.