Best Books That Will Help You Overcome Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a body image disorder when one is obsessed with a perceived flaw in their appearance. The sufferer could be dissatisfied with a part of their body, their face, their hair, their skin, the size of their body, etc.
They often spend a lot of time fixing their appearance to camouflage their flaws and the perceived flaws can be imagined or minor to others. The signs and symptoms vary according to different BDD sufferers. Some might also suffer from social anxiety or depression.
Even though BDD is a kind of mental illness, it is not as recognized as other high media profile illnesses such as eating disorders. So it’s often a misunderstood and underdiagnosed disorder.
Below are books on Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). Not all the books are BDD-specific but they can help you resolve your body image issues too.
Pick the book that best suits your needs.
Bonus: My Book on Loving Your Body and Body Image
Note: The way I look at my books will never be the same as the way I look at other books, so to be fair I rather keep them off the list.
Love Your Body by Yong Kang Chan
This book is not just about body image and physical appearance. It’s also about learning to trust your body and developing a better relationship with it.
Many of us love ourselves conditionally, based on what we can see. We are only happy when we are beautiful and well. But what about those times when we are not? Does it mean we are unworthy of love?
Reading this spiritual book helps you love yourself beyond the physical form and see beauty in yourself and everyone else. If changing your physical appearance frustrates you, this book is for you.
10 Best Books on Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Overcoming BDD
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1. The Broken Mirror by Katharine Phillips
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) isn’t rare but it’s usually hidden and underdiagnosed since sufferers often feel ashamed about being obsessed with their looks. When they share with others the perceived flaws in their appearance, they are usually misunderstood as vain so they rather hide it from their friends.
Drawn on years of clinical practice, scientific research, and numerous real-life stories from patients, this book clearly explains what BDD is and the private thoughts and lives of people struggling with this disorder.
If you want a compassionate yet informative read on this topic, this is the book for you.
2. The Body Image Workbook by Thomas Cash
If you don’t like what you see when you look in the mirror, it’s not about changing your looks. It’s about changing your perception.
Through a series of exercises, worksheets and reflections, you will embark on a journey to redefine the way you view yourself from the inside out.
Not only will you explore your perceptions, strengths and vulnerabilities, you’ll also learn powerful tools to build confidence and accept your body.
If you want a strategic, step-by-step, hands on approach to dealing with body image issues, this book is for you.
3. Shattered Image by Brian Cuban
The author is a successful lawyer, TV host and the younger brother of the famous entrepreneur, Mark Cuban. In this memoir, he shares his struggles in Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and the eating disorders, depression and addictions that come along with it.
Apart from giving an honest account of how he developed BDD and how it has affected his life for over thirty years, this book is also about how he overcame BDD and become confident in his body.
If you are losing hope with your condition, this book will give you new hope for recovery.
4. The Body Image Workbook for Teens by Julia Taylor
Due to societal and peer pressure, it’s easy for a teenager to become self-conscious and obsessed with their looks and body image.
Written for teenage girls and their parents, this book helps teens to stop comparing themselves to others, silence their inner critic and build self-confidence. It includes 40 activities and various examples of real girls who are experiencing the problem.
Each chapter has one activity and it is only a few pages long. So this book is very reader-friendly for a teenager. You just need about 15 to 20 minutes per day to complete each exercise.
5. Understanding Body Dysmorphic Disorder by Katharine Phillips
This is an essential guide to understanding Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). If you are not sure you have BDD or just some normal body image concern, you can read this book to find out.
Using various stories, interviews and a quick self-assessment questionnaire, this book shows you the different behaviors and symptoms of a BDD sufferer. Many sufferers are able to function well in society, but remain secretly obsessed by their imperfections.
This book is good for family and friends too as it provides them with advice on how to interact with the BDD sufferer and the treatments that work.
6.Reflections on Body Dysmorphic Disorder by Nicole Schnackenberg & Sergio Petro
This book is written mostly by sufferers, family members, and carers of those who have struggled with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).
If you are someone who learns through reading about other people’s experiences and how they overcome their struggle, this is the book for you. In this book, you will find thirty-six stories of courage, determination and hope, which give you insights into how this disorder exhibits in different people.
Their stories will inspire you to seek treatment and believe that recovery is possible. At the start of the book, the author also summarizes the core themes found in these stories.
7. Feeling Good about the Way You Look by Sabine Wilhelm
Written by a Harvard psychologist, this book uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as a process to deal with body imperfections. It can be used as a self help resource or with a therapist.
The author leads you through a step-by-step program that helps you fight the urge to spend hours grooming, camouflaging your flaws, or checking the mirror.
This book is mainly written for people who suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). But even if you do not have BDD and only have mild body image issues, this book can be useful to you too.
8. A Man Devoured By His Body, Food & Work by Stuart McRobert
If you believe that your body is not sufficiently muscular or large enough, this is the book for you.
This book is written for people who suffer from Muscle Dysmorphia (MD) (also referred as Bigorexia). People with MD are obsessed with weight training and no matter how much they improve their body, they are still dissatisfied with it. Even if others admire their physique, they still find their body imperfect.
Written by a strength training writer, this book details the author’s personal struggle with his mental health and the healing he received from therapy. It is suitable for bodybuilders and exercise enthusiasts.
9. Skin Picking by Annette Pasternak
Written by a holistic health coach, this book is about skin picking. Skin picking can be one of symptoms or behaviors that a Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) sufferer exhibits.
Even though Excoriation Disorder (also referred as Dermatillomania) is not the same as BDD, reading this book can help you break your habit of skin picking.
In this book, you will find techniques to reduce stress and anxiety naturally, thus reducing the body’s need to pick. You will also learn to release negative thoughts and emotions that are holding you back.
If you are obsessed with skin picking, this book is suitable for you.
10. Compared to Who? by Heather Creekmore
If you are a chronic comparer and you are tired of others telling you not to worry about your body image, this is the book for you.
Written with humor and honesty, the author weaves her personal story and struggle into the book. Unlike the other books, this book helps you change your perspective on the whole body image issues by offering you spiritual solutions and a biblical path to improve your body image.
The author writing style is highly relatable but only read this book if you are open to Christianity.
Hey there, I’m Yong Kang, best known as Nerdy Creator. I’m an author of seven books. I write about spirituality, self-compassion, and mindfulness. I love reading books, especially non-fiction. The list above is a combination of what I have read and my research. Each year, I create a Top 10 list of my favorite books.