Olfactory reference syndrome: issues for DSM-V.

TitleOlfactory reference syndrome: issues for DSM-V.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsFeusner, JD, Phillips KA, Stein DJ
JournalDepression and anxiety
Date Published2010 Jun
KeywordsDepressive Disorder, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Humans, Odors, Olfaction Disorders, Syndrome, Terminology as Topic

The published literature on olfactory reference syndrome (ORS) spans more than a century and provides consistent descriptions of its clinical features. The core symptom is preoccupation with the belief that one emits a foul or offensive body odor, which is not perceived by others. This syndrome is associated with substantial distress and disability. DSM-IV and ICD-10 do not explicitly mention ORS, but note convictions about emitting a foul body odor in their description of delusional disorder, somatic type. However, the fact that such symptoms can be nondelusional poses a diagnostic conundrum. Indeed, DSM-IV also mentions fears about the offensiveness of one's body odor in the social phobia text (as a symptom of taijin kyofusho). There also seems to be phenomenological overlap with body dysmorphic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and hypochondriasis. This article provides a focused review of the literature to address issues for DSM-V, including whether ORS should continue to be mentioned as an example of another disorder or should be included as a separate diagnosis. We present a number of options and preliminary recommendations for consideration for DSM-V. Because research is still very limited, it is unclear how ORS should best be classified. Nonetheless, classifying ORS as a type of delusional disorder seems problematic. Given this syndrome's consistent clinical description across cultures for more than a century, substantial morbidity and a small but growing research literature, we make the preliminary recommendation that ORS be included in DSM-Vs Appendix of Criteria Sets Provided for Further Study, and we suggest diagnostic criteria.

Alternate JournalDepress Anxiety