Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 January 2018
The term ‘dymorphophobia’ – derived from the Greek dysmorphia, meaning ugliness (expressly of the face) – was first coined by Morselli in the late-19th century. He described a subjective feeling of a physical defect which the patient feels is noticeable to others, although his appearance is within normal limits. Dysmorphophobia first appeared in the US psychiatric nosology (as an atypical somatoform disorder) in 1980, with the publication of DSM–III (American Psychiatric Association, 1980). However, the term was subsequently criticised both because the condition does not represent a phobia as such, and also because the use of the term had become so broad and imprecise (see Munro & Stewart, 1991).