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New therapy to overcome body dysmorphic disorder
Date:6/28/2010

Montreal, June 28, 2010 A nose job to treat a mental health problem? Teeth whitening to overcome a severe anxiety disorder? These are just two procedures that people with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) have traditionally turned to in order to deal with body-related concerns. The excessive use of (and dissatisfaction with) cosmetic treatments, along with obsessive rituals and social isolation, is what scientists from the Fernand-Seguin Research Centre of Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital, affiliated with the University of Montreal, are hoping to fight with a novel therapy to treat BDD.

BDD is not a well-known disease: it is characterized by a significant dissatisfaction with one's appearance, particularly with perceived flaws. Included in the category of obsessive-compulsive disorders, this mental health problem leads to ritual behaviours and social isolation. Although any part of the body may become the subject of these obsessions, those who suffer from BDD most often focus on their skin, eyes, nose, teeth, buttocks, stomach, hair or chest.

Kieron O'Connor, director of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Tic Disorder Studies Centre at Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital, said that people coping with BDD seek out in particular plastic surgeons, orthodontists and esthetic professionals to alleviate their suffering. "However, what they really need is psychological support and assistance," said Dr. O'Connor, who is also a researcher at the University of Montreal Department of Psychiatry and the Universit du Quebec en Outaouais Department of Psychology.

To help people struggling with BDD, Dr. O'Connor and Annie Taillon, a doctoral student in psychology, developed a specialized and innovative cognitive behavioural therapy in collaboration with their team at the Fernand-Seguin Research Centre of Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital. "Our preliminary results are very promising," explained Ms. Taillon. "We observed a clear decrease in appearance-related fixat
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Contact: Catherine Dion
catherine.dion.hlhl@ssss.gouv.qc.ca
514-251-4000 x2986
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

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