BOSTON, Dec. 15, 2014 — Awareness about Body Dysmorphic Disorder is improving, but few resources exist for individuals and families affected by the mental health disorder. On the surface, BDD can look like narcissism or vanity, but in reality, BDD is a psychiatric disorder related to obsessive compulsive disorder that causes extreme distress in those it affects, to the point that many people with BDD consider taking their own lives. As many as 1–2 percent of the population may have BDD, and aside from the occasional mention on reality and talk shows focusing on addictions to plastic surgery, the disorder remains little discussed, and little understood outside of the mental health community. The International OCD Foundation is working to change that with the launch of www.HelpforBDD.org, a new website dedicated to information and resources about BDD for individuals with the disorder, their family members, and the mental health professionals who diagnose and treat BDD.
On April 15, 2011, the lives of Denis, Judy, and Carrie Asselin were forever changed when their beloved son and brother, Nathaniel, chose to end his life after a long struggle with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Denis Asselin was determined to use his family’s tragedy to help others. Since then, Denis — along with a group of experts led by Dr. Katharine Phillips from Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital, Dr. Sabine Wilhelm from Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Fugen Neziroglu from Hofstra University and Bio Behavioral Institute — has collaborated with the International OCD Foundation to create this first-of-its-kind comprehensive resource of treatment information, research, and help for sufferers and their family members.
“The levels of isolation and suicide rates for individuals suffering from BDD are staggering,” explains Dr. Jeff Szymanski, executive director of the International OCD Foundation. “I believe this new website will serve as an opportunity to bring this community together and ensure that they have access to desperately needed help.”
About the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF)
The International OCD Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit, working to increase access to effective treatment, put an end to mental health stigma, and foster a community for those affected by OCD and related disorders, and the professionals who treat them. Based in Boston, the IOCDF has affiliates in 23 states, as well as 9 Global Partners. The IOCDF was founded as the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation in 1986. Now in its 29th year, the organization has an over $1.5 million annual operating budget, runs the only national Annual OCD Conference for consumers and mental health professionals, and has granted over $3 million for OCD and related disorders research. For more information, please visit https://iocdf.org.
Director of Communications
International OCD Foundation
cbourne @ iocdf.org