Your institution is subscribed to Read Institutional Edition. Log in or Sign Up to read full text articles.


Body dysmorphic disorder: does it have a psychotic subtype?

S L McElroy, K A Phillips, P E Keck, J I Hudson, H G Pope
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 1993, 54 (10): 389-95

BACKGROUND: Although body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is classified in DSM-III-R as a nonpsychotic somatoform disorder, controversy exists as to whether BDD can present with psychotic features. If it can, this raises the possibility that its DSM-III-R psychotic counterpart-delusional disorder, somatic type--may not be a separate disorder. The purpose of this study was to determine whether patients with nonpsychotic BDD (defined according to DSM-III-R criteria, i.e., with maintenance of some insight) were different from patients with psychotic BDD (those whose preoccupation was without insight and of delusional intensity).

METHOD: Fifty consecutive patients meeting DSM-III-R criteria A and C for BDD were assessed with a semistructured interview and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID). Family histories of psychiatric disorders were blindly assessed. The 24 patients with nonpsychotic BDD were compared with the 26 patients with psychotic BDD with respect to demographics, phenomenology, course of illness, associated features, comorbid psychiatric disorders, family history, and treatment response.

RESULTS: Patients with psychotic BDD displayed a significantly higher rate of lifetime DSM-III-R psychotic disorder diagnoses than patients with nonpsychotic BDD. However, the two groups did not differ significantly on most other variables examined. For instance, both psychotic and nonpsychotic patients displayed significant morbidity; high comorbidity with mood, anxiety, and psychoactive substance use disorders; and apparent preferential response to serotonin reuptake inhibitors rather than to non-serotonin reuptake blocking antidepressants or antipsychotics.

CONCLUSION: Body dysmorphic disorder may have a closely related psychotic subtype that significantly overlaps with, or may even be the same disorder as, the BDD variant of delusional disorder, somatic type. Inclusion of a psychotic subtype for BDD should be considered for future editions of DSM.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.