Year: 2016 Source: Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry. (2016). 28(1), 48-51. SIEC No: 20160524

Few reports exist about the treatment of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) in patients who
are suicidal. This case report describes a 19-year-old male with BDD who had delusional-intensity beliefs about facial disfigurement that had gradually intensified over a 2-year period. However, he was initially misdiagnosed with depression partly because he was admitted immediately after a suicide attempt that was associated with depressive symptoms and social withdrawal, symptoms that subsequently proved to be secondary to his BDD. The symptoms resolved completely and his social functioning returned to normal after 8 weeks of inpatient treatment with fluoxetine and cognitive behavioral therapy. This
report is a reminder that suicidal behavior and ideation can have many causes; to avoid misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, clinicians should consider other possibilities before assuming that suicidal behavior or ideation is the direct result of depression. We discuss the many changes in the understanding and diagnostic classification of BDD since it was first reported by Enrico Morselli in 1886.