In most cases, body dysmorphic disorder is difficult to treat without professional help. But you can do some things for yourself that will build on your treatment plan, such as:
May. 09, 2013
- Stick to your treatment plan. Don't skip therapy sessions, even if you don't feel like going.
- Take your medications as directed. Even if you're feeling well, resist any temptation to skip your medications. If you stop, symptoms may come back. You could also experience withdrawal-like symptoms from stopping a medication too suddenly.
- Learn about your condition. Education about body dysmorphic disorder can empower you and motivate you to stick to your treatment plan.
- Pay attention to warning signs. Work with your doctor or therapist to learn what might trigger your symptoms. Make a plan so you know what to do if symptoms return. Contact your doctor or therapist if you notice any changes in symptoms or how you feel.
- Get active. Physical activity and exercise can help manage many symptoms, such as depression, stress and anxiety. Physical activity can also counteract the effects of some psychiatric medications that may cause weight gain. Consider walking, jogging, swimming, gardening or taking up another form of physical activity you enjoy.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. Alcohol and illegal drugs can worsen mental illness symptoms or interact with medications.
- Get routine medical care. Don't neglect checkups or skip visits to your family doctor, especially if you aren't feeling well. You may have a new health problem that needs to be addressed, or you may be experiencing side effects of medication.
- Body dysmorphic disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association: 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed March 29, 2013.
- Body dysmorphic disorder. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec15/ch204/ch204b.html#sec15-ch204-ch204b-767. Accessed March 29, 2013.
- Prazeres AM, et al. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for body dysmorphic disorder: A review of its efficacy. Neuropsychiatric Disease Treatment. 2013;9:307.
- Fiora P, et al. Body dysmorphic disorder: A complex and polymorphic affection. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2009;5:477.
- Conrado LA, et al. Body dysmorphic disorder among dermatologic patients: Prevalence and clinical features. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2010;63:235.
- Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Anxiety and Depression Association of America. http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/body-dysmorphic-disorder-bdd. Accessed March 29, 2013.
- Wilhelm S, et al. Modular cognitive-behavioral therapy for body dysmorphic disorder. Behavior Therapy. 2011;42:624.
- Fisher JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 18, 2013.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 29, 2013.
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