Obsessive-compulsive disorder versus body dysmorphic disorder: A comparison study of two possibly related disorders

Katharine A. Phillips, Anthony Pinto, William Menard, Jane L. Eisen, Maria Mancebo, Steven A. Rasmussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


The relationship between obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is unclear. BDD has been proposed to be an OCD-spectrum disorder or even a type of OCD. However, few studies have directly compared these disorders' clinical features. We compared characteristics of subjects with OCD (n = 210), BDD (n = 45), and comorbid BDD/OCD (n = 40). OCD and BDD did not significantly differ in terms of demographic features, age of OCD or BDD onset, illness duration, and many other variables. However, subjects with BDD had significantly poorer insight than those with OCD and were more likely to be delusional. Subjects with BDD were also significantly more likely than those with OCD to have lifetime suicidal ideation, as well as lifetime major depressive disorder and a lifetime substance use disorder. The comorbid BDD/OCD group evidenced greater morbidity than subjects with OCD or BDD in a number of domains, but differences between the comorbid BDD/OCD group and the BDD group were no longer significant after controlling for BDD severity. However, differences between the comorbid BDD/ OCD group and the OCD group remained significant after controlling for OCD severity. In summary, OCD and BDD did not significantly differ on many variables but did have some clinically important differences. These findings have implications for clinicians and for the classification of these disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-409
Number of pages11
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Comorbidity
  • Dysmorphophobia
  • Insight
  • OCD-spectrum disorders
  • Phenomenology
  • Somatoform disorders


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