Body Dysmorphic Disorder: What to Look For

If a child or adolescent becomes preoccupied with her physical appearance, or persistently expresses the belief that a minor or perceived flaw in her physical appearance makes her “ugly,” then she may have body dysmorphic disorder. Signs include frequent examination in front of the mirror (or an aversion toward looking in the mirror altogether), excessive grooming and use of cosmetics, and refusal to appear in pictures. A child with body dysmorphic disorder may become preoccupied with any particular part of her body, from hair, nose and teeth to acne and breast size in adolescents. Depression and social anxiety can be expressions of body dysmorphic disorder as well.