Episode 67

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) with Dr. Rob Willson

“It’s not uncommon for people to try out their own DIY cosmetic surgery by cutting their faces or stomachs to squeeze out fat or super glue their ears or deliberately break their own noses so they can do their own rhinoplasty.

When people become desperate and have BDD the only vehicle -  in their minds  - for any chance of future happiness is some form of physical change in their appearance.”

Dr. Rob Willson PhD is a cognitive behaviour therapist (CBT), with a special interest in Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). He is currently the chair of Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation, which is the world’s first charity exclusively devoted to the condition. 

Interestingly, research shows that although eating disorders and BDD share similarities regarding body image issues, BDD is a very separate condition. The most effective treatment to date is CBT.

The Body Dysmorphic Foundation is a one stop shop for anything related to BDD packed full of resources, therapists and support. Rob would like to see a support group in every town and city as BDD often flies under the radar or is masked by another condition.

Rob has co-authored several books, including ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies’, ‘Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder’ and ‘Overcoming Body Image Problems including Body Dysmorphic Disorder’.

Here at Love This Food Thing, we are big supporters of the BDDF and it was my absolute pleasure to chat with Rob and find out more. 

If you are suffering please reach out there is help available and research continues. 


  • [01:41] - Understanding Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • [02:27] - Dr. Rob Willson's Personal Relationship with Food
  • [02:59] - Impact of Competitive Powerlifting on Body Image
  • [14:29] - Understanding Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • [24:02] - The Role of Mindfulness in Therapy
  • [27:11] - Effectiveness of CBT for Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • [29:03] - Early Experiences with BDD Patients
  • [30:36] - Understanding the Severity of Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • [31:17] - The Impact on Daily Life
  • [33:58] - Differentiating Between BDD and Body Image Issues
  • [36:40] - The Challenge of Diagnosing BDD
  • [38:53] - The Role of Social Media
  • [40:44] - The Struggle of Living with BDD
  • [43:38] - Approaching BDD as a Psychological Problem



If you enjoyed this episode, please let us know your thoughts on Instagram @lovethisfoodthing and consider leaving an honest review and rating for the show - we’d be extremely grateful.


About the Podcast

Show artwork for Love This Food Thing
Love This Food Thing
A series of conversations around experiences with food, eating disorders and recovery.