How do people with body dysmorphic disorder view themselves? A thematic analysis

J. Silver, P. Reavey, Naomi Fineberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To examine the accounts of people with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and qualitatively explore self perceptions. Methods. Eleven people with BDD were interviewed using a semi-structured schedule. Participants brought photographs of themselves and drew a self-portrait. Transcribed interviews were analysed using a thematic analysis.
Results: The most common theme was increased threat perception resulting in disordered interpersonal relationships. Other themes included the wish for regularity and symmetry in appearance, an idealised childhood self, the duty to look good, and a focus on specific “defective” features rather than general ugliness.
Conclusions: Using thematic analysis and visual methods, we identified core themes that appear to characterise the way individuals with BDD perceive themselves and their interpersonal relationships. Thematic analysis offers promise as a tool to explore the overlap between BDD and other putatively related mental health problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-197
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • body dysmorphic disorder
  • thematic analysis
  • obsessive compulsive disorder spectrum


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