Real Life Stories

For 17–year–old James, the simple act of looking in a mirror is torture. Ever since a friend made a casual comment about his appearance, James has been obsessed with the size and shape of his nose. "It's just not right... it just doesn't fit my face" he will state. James is unable to be reassured that there is nothing objectively wrong with his nose and will spend at least an hour per day checking himself in various reflections. He has begun to consult with cosmetic surgeons about the possibility of rhinoplasty.

"I wish I could convince my parents to take me to a plastic surgeon" said Kristin, 15. She is preoccupied with her "large" jaw, "small" breasts and "uneven" skin and will ask her mother whether she looks okay at least a dozen times per day. She has begun to use heavy makeup and has also started wearing long sleeves and pants at all times in order to cover her skin. Kristin's appearance concerns are so time-consuming and distressing that she has ceased to spend time with her friends and has dropped her extracurricular activities.

Both James and Kristin have Body Dysmorphic Disorder.