The secrecy and shame that often accompany BDD make its diagnosis difficult. Most experts agree that many cases of BDD go unrecognized. People with the disorder often are embarrassed and reluctant to tell their doctors about their concerns. As a result, the disorder can go unnoticed for years or never be diagnosed. One red flag to doctors is when patients repeatedly seek plastic surgery for the same or multiple perceived physical defects.

  1. In diagnosing BDD, the doctor will begin his or her evaluation with a complete history and physical examination.
  2. If the doctor suspects BDD, he or she might refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist, health care professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses.
  3. The psychiatrist or psychologist makes a diagnosis based on his or her assessment of the person's attitude, behavior and symptoms.