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20.02.2017 | main topic | Sonderheft 1/2017

Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift 1/2017

Body dysmorphic disorder: history and curiosities

Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift > Sonderheft 1/2017
MD, PhD Katlein França, MD Maria Grazia Roccia, MD David Castillo, MD Mana ALHarbi, MD Georgi Tchernev, MD Anastasia Chokoeva, MD Torello Lotti, MD Massimo Fioranelli


Body dysmorphic disorder is a chronic psychiatric disorder characterized by excessive preoccupation with an absent or minimal physical deformity. It causes severe distress and impairs normal functioning. In the last centuries, this disorder has been mentioned in the medical literature by important mental health practitioners by different names, such as “dysmorphophobia” or “dermatologic hypochondriasis”. However, not until the last century was it included among the obsessive–compulsive disorders, although its classification has changed over time.Patients with body dysmorphic disorder constantly seek cosmetic treatments in order to improve their physical appearance, which more often deteriorates their mental condition. The high prevalence of psychiatric disorders in cosmetic medical practice has led in this field of study to the new science “cosmetic psychodermatology”. This paper presents a summary of important facts about body dysmorphic disorder and its description throughout the history of medicine.

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