Book to support young people with appearance anxiety available in all public libraries | Press releases

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Book to support young people with appearance anxiety available in all public libraries

Appearance Anxiety, a book written by South London and Maudsley experts, has been added to a reading list to be available at all public libraries to mark World Mental Health Day.

The book, Appearance Anxiety: a guide to understanding body dysmorphic disorder for young people, families and professionals was chosen by the charity The Reading Agency to form a collection of books recommended by health experts and people living with mental health conditions.

The Reading Well for Teens list aims to support 13-18-year-olds with their mental health and wellbeing and the books selected cover a range of areas including anxiety, stress, common mental health conditions, sexuality and challenging experiences like exams and bullying.

South London and Maudsley offers the only specialist clinic for Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) in the UK. BDD is a mental health condition, most common in children and young people, where people spend a lot of time worried and upset over their appearance. The condition impacts around one or two people in every 100 and is treatable.

Amita Jassi, Consultant clinical Psychologist, OCD, BDD and Related Disorders Service for Young People at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are delighted that our book Appearance Anxiety has been chosen to be part of the Reading Well for Teens collection, and that young people up and down the country will have access to our book which we hope they will find useful.

“Our book explains the causes, symptoms and impact of BDD and gives first-hand accounts from young people with BDD and their families. We also wanted to make sure it provides advice on treatment including CBT and medication and signposts where people can get help.”

OCD, BDD and Related Disorders Service for Young People will be provided from the Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People's Mental Health, a £68.8m world-leading research and clinical centre in Denmark Hill, when it open its doors in September 2023.  

The centre will bring together expert clinicians and mental health researchers from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, (IoPPN), to develop evidence-based new treatments to help reach children and young people faster. 

Dr Jassi added: “We are seeing an increasing number of young people with appearance anxiety at our clinic so it is important that we give additional focus on preventative measures for young people with the right signposting and support. The Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People will enable us to support young people to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.”