New clinical guidelines were issued today by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, on the identification, treatment and management of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) in children and adults.
OCD can occur in people of all ages, and commonly starts in childhood or adolescence, and is characterized by the occurrence of obsessions and/or compulsions (unwanted, unnecessary behaviours like repeated washing or cleaning, checking electrical appliances or locks, etc).
In BDD, on the other hand, people become obsessed about imagined defects in their appearance, with many sufferers turning to surgery instead of psychiatry for treatment.
The guidelines launched with the aim to improve the identification, diagnosis and treatment of OCD, stress that specialist teams should be established in every primary care trust to diagnose and treat Body dysmorphic disorder sufferers and the allied condition obsessive compulsive disorder.
Also, cosmetic surgeons should question patients about their body image to screen out those with a mental disorder before agreeing to operate
OCD is ranked as one of the 10 most disabling illnesses by the World Health Organization in terms of lost income and quality of life, yet can be effectively treated with brief therapy or antidepressant drugs.