Psychology Disorders Paper

Psychology Disorders Paper

Student’s Name

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Professor’s Name


Psychology Disorders Paper

Biographical sketch

According to research on Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Marissa Malik is a female aged 21 from Los Angeles, California. At 15 years, Marissa started showing odd behaviors like spending more time looking at herself in the mirror because she felt fretted about her appearance. Marissa also has unnecessary worry about her face and shows extreme signs of distress and discomfort when someone looks at her straight in her face; thus always ends up covering herself with scarves soles to cover up her face. When Marissa goes out for any function, she spends most of her time choosing clothes, applying make-up, and combing her hair to conceal the flaw in her face and the whole body. Marissa 21-year-old lady, moves from Los Angeles, California, to work in a re-known city Motel as a full-time server in New York. After leaving Los Angeles, she starts feeling lonely and isolated resulting in subsequent mood drops since she has not made new friends in New York City at her place of work. Lately, Marissa has had no joy in the activities she could find entertaining.

This type of fear, anxiety, and distress (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) resulted when she was age 15 and also from her childhood abuse. At Marissa’s workplace, her manager has been continuously dissatisfied with her work performance since she reports almost thirty minutes late and has no reasonable excuse for being late. The motel customers are constantly unhappy with Marissa’s anxiety and distress signs that she shows up when she is serving them daily. Marissa always reports being late for work since she spends more time looking for the best clothing. She also avoids eye contact with people on the way; when walking from home to the workplace, Marissa checks if people around her are looking at her, and if she finds it, so she keeps on covering herself with scarves soles every time. Taking more time to cover her flaws while walking, doing the make-up on her face, and combining her hair makes her waste a lot of time hence, Marissa delays her work.

Trauma or childhood abuse is preliminary evidence of Marissa’s fear, distress, and anxiety; according to the research, Marissa was abused physically and emotionally during her childhood. In her youth, Marissa was maltreated and bullied because of her physical appearance (face appearance) hence experiencing traumatic and emotional conflict during her childhood resulting in low self-esteem. Another reason for the disorder is being predisposed to Body Dysmorphic Disorder during her childhood; being bullied, she developed this disorder that affects her by making her report for work late.

Treatment plan

An effective treatment plan for Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a combination of medication and psychotherapy treatment that are therapeutic approaches (Bernstein et al., 2021, p. 7). The treatment plan assists Marissa in controlling her anxiety, distress, and fear that they do not rule her life. Application of a psychotherapy treatment plan is the type of person’s counseling that concentrates on changing Marissa’s thinking that involves cognitive therapy and her behaviors that is behavioral therapy since she is disturbed by body dysmorphic disorder (Bernstein et al., 2021, p. 4). Cognitive behavioral therapy is more accurate in planning for a psychotherapy program. It is a type of psychotherapy that efficiently treats individuals suffering from body dysmorphic disorder like Marissa. In medication, a therapist administers antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or combines selective serotonin with antipsychotic medicines like pimozide, olanzapine, or aripiprazole. Considering medication for Marissa, this type of treatment shows a promising way of treating Marissa’s body dysmorphic disorders, like taking too much, looking at herself in the mirror, and covering herself with scarves.

The aim of applying a psychotherapy treatment plan to Marissa is to correct her false beliefs about her defect (Bernstein et al., 2021, p. 6), minimizing her compulsive behavior. Cognitive behavioral therapy, response, and exposure prevention apply real-life situations and thoughts of n individual. Therefore, they will help Marissa prove that her views about herself are incorrect, changing from viewing herself as someone with body dysmorphic disorder to an average person like others. When the medication process, psychotherapy process, response, and exposure methods are combined in a treatment plan for Marissa, she will be relieved from the dysmorphic disorders that she suffers from, making her report early to work. The whole treatment plan takes approximately two-to-three months. Once Marissa’s dysmorphic symptoms are brought under control, she will be able to control her life hence changing her thought patterns.



Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental associated health condition where an individual spends most of their time worrying about her appearance flaws that often no one can notice that are intrusive and causes distress and anxiety (Greenberg et al., 2019, p. 181). The diagnosis of Marissa’s body dysmorphic disorder shows that she is strongly controlled and affected by her dysmorphic conditions. Marissa is diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder concerning her body fretting appearance when someone looks at her face. Marissa started showing such signs at age 15, and this type of anxiety makes her report late for work. He looks at herself in a mirror to ensure that no one will notice her fretted facial appearance; she keeps covering herself with scarves and combing her hair for security reasons of no one noticing the fretted face appearance.

Current Research Surrounding Body Dysmorphic Disorder

The current survey shows that approximately 20% of personnel with body dysmorphic disorder are essentially diagnosed with the condition (Schulte et al., 2020, p. 8). The victims commonly report that their main concern is that they may be self-conceited when they disclose that they are worried by their appearance thoughts. Since it is the opposite of vanity, individuals suffering from body dysmorphic disorder are desperate to appear normal. They are concerned with something wrong with how they look, making them not admire their appearance. Body dysmorphic disorder is challenging to separate from some psychiatric disorders sharing the same characteristics as eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and social anxiety (Krebs, Fernández de la Cruz & Mataix-Cols, 2017, p. 73). An example, body dysmorphic disorder, and eating disorders are associated with body image disturbance. Moreover, in body dysmorphic conditions, appearance anxieties are not routinely associated with dysfunctional eating patterns. They are more diverse, while in eating disorders, body dissatisfaction is concentrated on body shape and weight (Hrabosky et al., 2009, p. 159).

Body dysmorphic disorder clinical research on teenagers indicates that up to 60% of current self-harm behaviors or reports past 50% substance abuse, and about a third drops out of school entirely because of their appearance worries (Mataix-Cols et al., 2015, p. 902). The survey found that body dysmorphic disorder is always ignored among teenagers because appearance concerns are disregarded as a prescriptive adolescent stage. While many adolescents worry about appearance, body dysmorphic disorder is not a worry; instead, it is an impairing concern causing marked interference and distress. Because body dysmorphic disorder characteristically appears during puberty, it is, therefore, vital that this state is known and detected early to prevent possible devasting effects that it can possess at this critical developmental stage (Bjornsson et al., 2013, p. 897).

When a teenager has body dysmorphic disorder and gets the appropriate diagnosis, according to the 2005 National Institute for care and health Excellence, the society published the procedures for body dysmorphic disorder management (NICE, 2006). Based on the existing evidence laid by clinical experts, medication and cognitive behavioral therapy, mainly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are recommended as the first treatment option for body dysmorphic disorder. Moreover, when the researchers wrote the procedures for treating body dysmorphic conditions at the initial stages, evidence-based for treating teenagers was an issue. Only a few reports had been printed on cognitive behavioral therapy for body dysmorphic disorder in young people. Around 2015, the first researcher published the first randomized control trial of cognitive behavioral therapy to treat body dysmorphic conditions in teenagers (Mataix-Cols et al., 2015, p.898). The survey research finds that cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective and viable treatment option for teenagers with body dysmorphic disorder as it improves the life quality and mood of the individual, together with reducing body dysmorphic disorder symptoms.

Best types of treatment

Therapeutic is appropriate for an individual with body dysmorphic disorder, such as Marissa’s condition. In the treatment process, the therapy progress comprises stages such as exploration, orientation, resolution, and disorder identification. Therefore, Marissa’s case is the same because the distress, fear, and anxiety associated with body dysmorphic disorder are identified and explored further by the research conducted. After that, exploration of the cause of pain, fear, and anxiety, resolution for Marissa’s treatment by providing psychotherapy treatment as a better body dysmorphic disorder choice.


Body dysmorphic disorder in Marissa is treatable because it has not reached its chronic stages. Employing medication and psychotherapy (cognitive behavioral therapy) with a response and exposure therapeutic approach assists Marissa in facing her dysmorphic thoughts and fears without combining them with her compulsions. The medication type introduces antidepressant medicine that helps in altering the chemical balance in Marissa’s brain, thus assisting her in recovering from the body dysmorphic disorder noted in her through the diagnosis process. Hence, her better performance is guaranteed at her workstation.

Personal Reflection

I was writing my research concerning body dysmorphic disorder results from an observation I made on an individual with the same illness. Initially, as I stated in the research project that I carried out, the research was based on research carried out by interviewing an individual with body dysmorphic disorder. I have observed various individuals affected by this type of disorder. I got the urge to interview my patient because I wanted extra compassion for clients suffering from mental illnesses. The other reason I opted to interview my client is that I wanted to get a primary source for the research. Therefore, I conducted research to base my presentation character on her since it was easier than coming up with my biographical sketch.

One friend of mine told me about her body dysmorphic disorder when we worked in an office together three years ago. On coming in touch with my client, I decided to interview her to have more compassion for people living with a mental- disorder-associated illness like Marissa. While interviewing Marissa, I got blown away by how she was open to me, and due to this, I found that I am more grateful for the amount of trust and comfort she showed in being available to me and sharing her mental illness. As a result of her sharing her disorder with me, I found that her self-disclosure illustrates a lot of trusts though it was not much earthshaking.


Bernstein, E. E., Phillips, K. A., Greenberg, J. L., Curtiss, J., Hoeppner, S. S., & Wilhelm, S. (2021). Mechanisms of cognitive-behavioural therapy effects on symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder: a network intervention analysis. Psychological Medicine, 1-9.

Bjornsson, A. S., Didie, E. R., Grant, J. E., Menard, W., Stalker, E., & Phillips, K. A. (2013). Age at onset and clinical correlates in body dysmorphic disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 54(7), 893-903.

Greenberg, J. L., Weingarden, H., & Wilhelm, S. (2019). A practical guide to managing body dysmorphic disorder in the cosmetic surgery setting. JAMA facial plastic surgery, 21(3), 181-182.

Hrabosky, J. I., Cash, T. F., Veale, D., Neziroglu, F., Soll, E. A., Garner, D. M., … & Phillips, K. A. (2009). Multidimensional body image comparisons among patients with eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, and clinical controls: a multisite study. Body image, 6(3), 155-163.

Krebs, G., de la Cruz, L. F., & Mataix-Cols, D. (2017). Recent advances in understanding and managing body dysmorphic disorder. Evidence-Based Mental Health, 20(3), 71-75.

Mataix-Cols, D., de la Cruz, L. F., Isomura, K., Anson, M., Turner, C., Monzani, B., & Krebs, G. (2015). A pilot randomized controlled trial of cognitive-behavioural therapy for adolescents with body dysmorphic disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(11), 895-904.

National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK. (2006). Obsessive-compulsive disorder: core interventions in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder and body dysmorphic disorder.

Schulte, J., Schulz, C., Wilhelm, S., & Buhlmann, U. (2020). Treatment utilization and treatment barriers in individuals with body dysmorphic disorder. BMC Psychiatry, 20(1), 1-11.