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

ions among participants and a reduction by more than half in ritualized behaviours. Nearly one third of the depressive symptoms associated with these fixations also disappeared."

The benefits of this therapy are very real; however, too few people dare to ask for help. By the nature of their illness, these patients are reluctant to go out in public, making a visit to the clinic a significant hurdle.

Kimberly is a woman who has benefited from the program. Speaking under an assumed name, she agreed to share the scope of her daily suffering: "I was ashamed to go out in public; I avoided all social activities. When I heard about this research project, it was a great relief for me. Finally, there was an explanation for my problems and, above all, a solution. This therapy helped me break free of my fixations and go back to work. I highly recommend it. "

Although BDD is little known, the disease is thought to affect over 350,000 Canadians, all of whom experience the same suffering, fears and turn to the same rituals and cosmetic procedures to avoid addressing the real nature of their illness. Nevertheless, these attempts to solve their problems reflect a true desire to end their suffering. Hair salons, dental offices, cosmetic surgery centres or a psychologist's chair? For people with body dysmorphic disorder, knocking on the right door is the true challenge.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

  • Over 350,000 Canadians are estimated to suffer from BDD
  • Specific populations: students (2 percent to 13.1 percent); clients of cosmetic surgery clinics (6 percent to 20 percent)
  • Affects both men and women
  • Rates of suicidal ideation (57.8 percent) and suicide attempts (2.6 percent)

Preliminary findings

  • Specialized therapy for a period of 20 weeks
  • Average reduction of 46 percent in appearance-related fixations
  • Average reduction of 53 percent in ritualized behaviours associated with these 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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