A qualitative exploration of the lived experiences of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

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Brennan, Sarah N, Rossell, Susan L ORCID: 0000-0002-7415-8252, Rehm, Imogen ORCID: 0000-0002-0053-2272, Thomas, Neil and Castle, David J ORCID: 0000-0002-3075-1580 (2023) A qualitative exploration of the lived experiences of Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 14. ISSN 1664-0640


Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is characterized by an intense preoccupation with one or more perceived “defects” in physical appearance. Despite the distress and impairment associated with BDD, the disorder remains understudied and poorly understood. In particular, there are limited studies available which give voice to those with firsthand experiences of the disorder. A qualitative approach was employed to study lived experience of BDD. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 participants with BDD, aiming to understand their subjective experiences of the disorder. Data was analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The results identified three superordinate themes; (1) consumed by the disorder, (2) the flawed self, and (3) intolerance of uncertainty about appearance. The qualitative findings of this study are discussed in relation to current conceptual understandings of BDD, including the cognitive behavioral model.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/47358
DOI 10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1214803
Official URL https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt...
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 5205 Social and personality psychology
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords BDD, body image, physical appearance
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