Dress Doubt Disorder

Diagnostic criteria for dress doubt disorder:


Image via Russell Davies

A diagnosis of dress doubt disorder is made when the following criteria from A, B, and C are met.

  1. A total of six (or more) items from (1), (2), and (3), with at least two from (1), and at least one each from (2) and (3):
    1. Qualitative impairment in cognition, as manifested by at least two of the following, one of which must include (a):
      1. extreme feelings of doubt or uncertainty regarding dress decision
      2. marked impairment in or decreased thoughts of topics other than dress
      3. failure to attend to topics other than dress
      4. increased cognition directed solely toward dress
      5. lack of insight into rational processes regarding dress
    2. Qualitative impairments in social emotional behavior as manifested by at least one of the following:
      1. increased anxiety regarding dress that can be exhibited by nail biting, lack of sleep, physical pain, headaches, crying, and/or irritability
      2. marked impairment in ability to trust others who were previously deemed trustworthy fashion advisers
      3. extremely labile mood exhibited by twirling in dress and then quickly crying while still wearing said dress (or other similar behaviors)
      4. inability to be soothed or calmed about dress decision
    3. Restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interest, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
      1. encompassing preoccupation with dresses, both one’s own and others’
      2. repetitive thoughts and/or language regarding dress
      3. repetitive behaviors regarding dresses (as evidenced by trying dress on or reading magazines with known high dress counts)
      4. persistent preoccupation with parts of dresses, such as lace boleros, sashes, trains, and veils, as well as dress styles and fashion trends
  2. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  3. The disturbance is not better accounted for by buyer’s remorse disorder.

Research shows that between 10% and 70% of brides suffer from some degree of dress doubt disorder. Treatment usually involves multiple repetitive conversations in an attempt to placate the bride, with limited results. Anti-anxiety pills are sometimes prescribed, as well as cognitive behavioral therapy. In some extreme cases, exposure or in-vivo therapy is indicated.

Have you suffered from DDD? I think I might have it…


Mrs. Magic

Chapel Hill, NC
Wedding Date:
October 2011
Floral Stamps Make Me Happy
I'd Rather Be a Guest
Add a comment


  1. Member
    iheartyou132 185 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:23 am

    As a clinical social work student, I love this.

  2. Member
    missrobots 2113 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:24 am

    Funny. I definitely have suffered dress doubt disorder, mild, recurrent.

  3. candy apple Member
    candy apple 1877 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:30 am

    Heart you, Magic.

    Why is it that so many brides get this?! I blame the dress industry, for forcing us to get dresses so far in advance, thus making us re-think our decision constantly over the next million months.

  4. Member
    CatyLady 9664 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 10:40 am

    lol. Yes I did but luckily I hadn’t bought it yet.

  5. lox Member
    lox 1465 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:56 am

    You know I suffered from a rather advanced case of DDD myself. But now I’m an inspirational story! It CAN be overcome!

    Maybe I should start teaching a seminar or something. 😉

  6. Member
    candicemcc 759 posts, Busy bee @ 10:57 am

    As soon as I saw the layout of the criteria I had to remind myself of your occupation. (Masters in Psyc over here.) :)

  7. Member
    mrsbowieii 704 posts, Busy bee @ 11:24 am

    I blame the onset of bride brain which makes you obessed with weddings and constantly looking at wedding related items which in turn causes brides to reserve the right to change their mind 1,000 times before having to make a solid decision.

    It’ll be ok. You aren’t alone.

  8. Member
    pookiepie 317 posts, Helper bee @ 11:34 am

    I feel you in this one! my wedding is far way ahead, with all the wedding dresses that come up with different styles and more wedding magazines to read, I am a little doubt if my wedding dress is just too plain simple for me. well, it makes me feel better, I’m not alone with this feeling :)

  9. Member
    ItsPronounced_ABear 715 posts, Busy bee @ 11:35 am

    Oh yes, just wrote a long reply regarding such on a message board this morning. Long story short, I caved and bought a new one.
    Fortunatley the first one was a steal (which probably contributed to buying the wrong one in the first place.)

  10. Member
    Shannamaria 32 posts, Newbee @ 11:40 am

    OMG….so glad to hear I’m not the only one. I just posted last night that I’m in major meltdown mode over my dress! I haven’t slept more than 5 hours in two days. I’m obsessing…and it’s driving me out of my mind. Im on the 2nd dress right now…I loved it and within 2 hours my panic alarm kicked in. I’m currently trying to recover from the mania.

  11. meerkat Member
    meerkat 3257 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:44 am

    I think that the statistics should read 99% of brides suffer from DDD. There is always that time, no matter how sure you were, where you are waiting for the dress to arrive and you are worried you will hate it.

  12. tartlet Member
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:04 pm

    Oh, yes. It didn’t help that I continued watching shows like SYTTD! Thankfully every time I’ve tried on my dress I fall in love with her all over again, but I’ve definitely experienced times of doubt.

  13. Member
    Ms. Anemone 624 posts, Busy bee @ 12:13 pm

    I think.

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    dulce ana lee, Guest @ 12:43 pm

    I’m sick, I have DDD symptoms (all ) !

  15. Member
    tbowling15 27 posts, Newbee @ 12:48 pm

    @Miss Tartlet: Oh SYTTD… so devilish, but so fabulous!

  16. Member
    Crown 578 posts, Busy bee @ 1:01 pm

    This totally made me laugh so hard I snorted like Arnold Ziffel. As a Mental Health Counselor myself, I LOVE this and will staple it to the back of my DSM-IV.

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    MissBear, Guest @ 1:06 pm

    Unfortunately, yes, and now i have an official name for it! :( It was less than an hour after I bought the dress that I realized that maybe I made the wrong choice. I go back over the pictures I took and it makes me feel even worse. I’m not the kind of person to do things on a whim, and dress #9 for some reason made me say THIS ONE! Rash decisions always leave me in remorse, but this one is the worst. :(

  18. Member
    Alicia C 41 posts, Newbee @ 1:23 pm

    this is so true

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    JD, Guest @ 4:12 pm

    Uhhh, does anybody else look at parts of their dress that they used to love and think that just maybe, they’re actually “weird” and you HATE them… or maybe not, maybe you do still really love them… you just couldn’t say… ???

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    sara, Guest @ 6:48 pm

    as a phd student in clinical psychology who is just starting to look for my dress, i love this post… haha :) hopefully i don’t develop DDD!!!!

  21. Member
    tiffinapit 264 posts, Helper bee @ 3:00 am

    As a nursing student I love your diagnosis and the specific criteria for the clinical diagnosis. I too may have to print this out and take it to our mental health instructor tomorrow 😉

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