Patient & Family Resource Center

Obsessive Compulsive and Body Dysmorphic Disorders in Adults and Children: A free educational program exclusively for patients, families, and friends

Obsessive Compulsive and Body Dysmorphic Disorders in Adults and Children

A free educational program for patients, families, and friends

About this event





Saturday, Feb, 23, 2013

Registration: 9:15 to 10 am

Program: 10 am to 3:15 pm






The Starr Center Auditorium

Mass. General Hospital

185 Cambridge St., 2nd Floor

Boston, MA 02114



Phone: 866-644-7792

Program Description:
The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Psychiatry invites you to attend Obsessive Compulsive and Body Dysmorphic Disorders in Adults and Children.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects approximately 1 percent of American adults. It is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an unreasonable thought, fear, or worry that he or she tries to manage through a ritualized activity to reduce the anxiety. Frequently occurring disturbing thoughts or images are called obsessions, and the rituals performed to try to prevent or dispel them are called compulsions. OCD often begins in adolescence or early adulthood, but can also first occur in childhood. OCD affects men and women equally, and appears to run in families. It is not unusual for other anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, or substance use disorders to accompany OCD. People may avoid situations in which they might have to confront their obsessions, or try unsuccessfully to use alcohol or drugs to calm themselves.

First described over 100 years ago, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterized by preoccupations with a perceived flaw in a person’s appearance. People with BDD believe they look ugly or deformed (thinking, for example, that they have a large and 'repulsive' nose, or severely scarred skin), when in reality they look normal. They often engage in ritualistic behaviors such as mirror checking or cosmetic surgery seeking. As a result of their appearance concerns, they may stop working and socializing, become housebound, and even commit suicide.

This program will focus on a review of the similarities and differences between OCD and BDD. In addition, treatment strategies to manage symptoms of OCD and BDD that can be applied in your daily life will be discussed. Strategies for involving patients’ families in treatment will also be reviewed. These interactive lectures will give you practical, cutting-edge information to help you optimize your current OCD or BDD treatment. The speakers will be available to answer your questions immediately after their presentations. The symposium will also include presentations by members of a patient and family panel, who will give a first-hand account of their experiences.

About the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry
The Department of Psychiatry was established in 1934. In the course of seven decades, its scientists and clinicians have made significant contributions to the understanding and treatment of mental health disorders. Today, the department includes more than 600 affiliated psychiatrists and psychologists and has the largest clinical research program in the hospital, which includes research in neuroscience, genetics, and the assessment of new and established treatments for mental health disorders.

The OCD and Related Disorders Program at Massachusetts General Hospital specializes in the treatment and research of OCD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), Tourette Syndrome (TS), Chronic Tic Disorder (CTD), Hoarding, Hair Pulling and Skin Picking, and Olfactory Reference Syndrome (ORS). The program strives to deliver evidence-based treatment to patients in need while simultaneously conducting research to advance our knowledge of the causes, consequences, and treatments of OCD, BDD, Tics, Hoarding, Hair Pulling and Skin Picking, and ORS.

The Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) Clinic & Research Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School was founded in 1998. This program is one of the few clinics in the United States, and the only clinic in Boston, specializing in the treatment and research of BDD. In close connection with the MGH Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Clinic & Research Unit and the MGH Trichotillomania Clinic & Research Unit, the mission of the BDD Clinic and Research Unit is to educate healthcare professionals and the general public, advance research, and deliver state-of-the-art treatments. Together, they hope to improve the standard of care for people suffering from BDD and related disorders.

The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Program informs and educates healthcare professionals, students, and the general public about CBT, furthers CBT research, and provides advanced clinical care to patients in the context of CBT. In recent years, hundreds of research studies and case reports have confirmed the effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for a broad spectrum of psychiatric disorders and medical issues, ranging from disorders such as anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, or schizophrenia, to pain and insomnia. The CBT program collaborates with cutting-edge CBT-related research and work to provide CBT of the highest quality to patients through the MGH Outpatient Psychiatry Service.

The MGH Psychiatry Academy (MGH-PA) was launched in 2005 to bring high quality continuing medical education to psychiatrists, primary care doctors, psychologists, social workers, and other health professionals around the world through live programming and the Internet. Since 2008 the MGH-PA has had more than 35,000 healthcare providers participate in live symposia and on-line activities. In 2010, the MGH-PA assumed responsibility for patient education programs that were formerly provided by the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Institute (MADI) Resource Center. The MGH-PA is now providing education for individuals, families, non-professional caregivers, and the community about mental health, translating the latest research advances into practical information to help people work with their doctors toward the most accurate diagnosis and the best possible treatment results.

This free educational program is made possible by generous support from the Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Foundation.

How You Can Help
Charitable contributions are an increasingly important source of support for research, professional and public education, and clinical care at the MGH Department of Psychiatry. Our community education programs are made possible by the generosity of individual and foundation donors. We welcome and appreciate contributions of any size, and maintain donor confidentiality at all times. To make a gift to support the public education programs of the MGH Department of Psychiatry, please contact the MGH Development Office at 617-726-2200 or visit us online at


For information on specific needs and giving opportunities, please call the Director of Development for Psychiatry at 617-724-8799.