ARE THEY RELATIVES OF BDD? DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BDD AND EATING DISORDERS

However, there are some differences. One difference is that people with BDD actually look normal. People with anorexia don’t. They look emaciated—in some cases skeletal—but the more abnormal their appearance becomes, the better they think they look. As they lose weight, they often feel more satisfied and more in control of their body and their life. They typically defend their strikingly abnormal, skeletonlike appearance as looking right, or even too fat. If they camouflage their body with bulky clothing, the purpose is generally to prevent others from seeing how thin they are and telling them to gain weight. In contrast, people with BDD nearly always feel very distressed and out of control. They camouflage out of a deep sense of shame and a desire to prevent further embarrassment by exposing the defect to others.
Another difference is that people with eating disorders typically focus primarily on overall body weight, whereas people with BDD more often focus on specific body parts, often facial features. However, this distinction can break down to some degree, in that individuals with anorexia often also have more focused complaints—for example, the size of their stomach or thighs. And some people with BDD are concerned with their weight, hips, thigh or overall body build. Muscle dysmorphia, which is considered a type of BDD, consists of a preoccupation that one’s overall body size is too small. This form of BDD may be more similar to eating disorders than other forms of BDD are, in that it often involves an obsession with eating a special diet, excessive exercise, and striving to eliminate body fat.
BDD and eating disorders differ strikingly in their male-to-female ratio (more than 90% of people with eating disorders are women). Furthermore, effective treatments for BDD and eating disorders differ in some important ways. Although recent preliminary data suggest that anorexia may respond to SRIs, the SRIs seem to mostly help people maintain their weight after they’ve regained it. People with anorexia don’t respond as often or as robustly to SRIs as people with BDD do. And while bulimia responds well to the SRIs, it also responds to a wide range of antidepressant medications, unlike BDD. Another difference, found in Dr. Rosen’s comparison study of eating disorders and BDD, is that people with BDD evaluate themselves more negatively because of how they look, and they avoid activities more because of self-consciousness about their appearance.
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ARE THEY RELATIVES OF BDD? DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BDD AND EATING DISORDERSHowever, there are some differences. One difference is that people with BDD actually look normal. People with anorexia don’t. They look emaciated—in some cases skeletal—but the more abnormal their appearance becomes, the better they think they look. As they lose weight, they often feel more satisfied and more in control of their body and their life. They typically defend their strikingly abnormal, skeletonlike appearance as looking right, or even too fat. If they camouflage their body with bulky clothing, the purpose is generally to prevent others from seeing how thin they are and telling them to gain weight. In contrast, people with BDD nearly always feel very distressed and out of control. They camouflage out of a deep sense of shame and a desire to prevent further embarrassment by exposing the defect to others.Another difference is that people with eating disorders typically focus primarily on overall body weight, whereas people with BDD more often focus on specific body parts, often facial features. However, this distinction can break down to some degree, in that individuals with anorexia often also have more focused complaints—for example, the size of their stomach or thighs. And some people with BDD are concerned with their weight, hips, thigh or overall body build. Muscle dysmorphia, which is considered a type of BDD, consists of a preoccupation that one’s overall body size is too small. This form of BDD may be more similar to eating disorders than other forms of BDD are, in that it often involves an obsession with eating a special diet, excessive exercise, and striving to eliminate body fat. BDD and eating disorders differ strikingly in their male-to-female ratio (more than 90% of people with eating disorders are women). Furthermore, effective treatments for BDD and eating disorders differ in some important ways. Although recent preliminary data suggest that anorexia may respond to SRIs, the SRIs seem to mostly help people maintain their weight after they’ve regained it. People with anorexia don’t respond as often or as robustly to SRIs as people with BDD do. And while bulimia responds well to the SRIs, it also responds to a wide range of antidepressant medications, unlike BDD. Another difference, found in Dr. Rosen’s comparison study of eating disorders and BDD, is that people with BDD evaluate themselves more negatively because of how they look, and they avoid activities more because of self-consciousness about their appearance.*374\204\8*

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