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In the eye of the male beholder

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition where a person spends too much time worrying about their appearance or flaws which are unnoticeable to others. People of any age can have BDD, but it effects mostly teenagers and young adults. This post will concentrate BDD among boys, a forgotten group. Have you heard of boys suffering from BDD?

boys are tough

Boys are tough

Experts believe BDD in England exists among 10 in a every thousand 5-19 year olds. That translates into 3 boys suffer from BDD per thousand boys. That means roughly 1 boy suffering BDD in every 2 secondary schools. There are around 3,500 secondary schools in England, so the numbers of BDD boys quickly jumps.

What are the symptoms of BDD?

  • Worry about a specific area of their body.
  • Spend too much time comparing looks with other people.
  • Too much time spent in front of mirrors or avoiding mirrors.
  • Try to conceal their body “flaws”

Treating BDD

Therapy involving children and young people will include family members or carers.

  1. For relatively mild symptoms a talking therapy is used alone or in a group.
  2. For moderate symptoms, use a talking therapy or a type of antidepressant medicine.
  3. For severe symptoms or where other treatments are not working, then use talking therapy and antidepressants together.

How can I help my son?

  • Support your son with therapy visits and or any medicines prescribed.
  • Ask the therapist the best ways to respond about how a son looks.
  • Talk with your son and offer support. Listen, and show you understand and care.
  • Be patient, as it takes time for the talking therapy and medicines to relieve BDD.

Scientists do not understand what causes BDD, but it might be associated with genetics, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or depression. It may be because of a chemical imbalance in the brain or a traumatic experience in the past. Let’s start talking about it.

ChildMax pays your take home salary while you’re on 12 months’ unpaid leave looking after a sick child. Premiums start from £49.50 or pay monthly for easy budgeting Get a quote with 5 questions which takes one minute.

Visit at  or call the UK call centre 0333 323 0098 for more information.

Important: if you feel that your child has BDD, then please speak to a medical expert, such as you GP.


Date: 23 November 2020 by max robinson