Body Dysmorphia/Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by pogosticker, Nov 30, 2011.

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  1. pogosticker

    pogosticker Well-Known Member

    Anyone else suffer from it here? This is also a contributing factor to my depression and suicidal thoughts.

    I'm a member of a BDD support site (BDDcentral), and my username is the same there. It has been a great help to me and there are lots of understanding people willing to offer help.

    My issues have always been my head size (too small), my hips (too wide), and how each work against each other and make me look out of proportion. I have a love/hate relationship with my face. Sometimes I like it, most of the time I hate it - my facial features don't compliment each other and are all individually unattractive (small chin, undefined jaw, big nose, flawed skin, dull eyes, short forehead, bad teeth) Though I'm coping with my BDD a lot better these days.
  2. Sardaukar

    Sardaukar Well-Known Member

    I think i may suffer from a form of this, I mean ive always thought that im fugly as anything, but alot of people have told me, that i look cute, but i just dont see it, no matter how hard i stare at the mirror, i just see ugly. Sometimes i also think i look okay, but then, later on, i look completely different, to how i looked earlier. How can my reflection change, in the space of hours? Its never made sense to me at all, Its like a different person in the mirror, every day. I think im going to research this, I may just have it to some degree.
  3. pogosticker

    pogosticker Well-Known Member

    What you described pretty much describes me - especially the mirror thing. I've always had a problem determining how I 'really' look, because I can see so many different faces looking in the mirror, depending on my mood, lighting, the mirror used, time of day, etc. And then again in photos - lighting, camera quality, distance from the camera, etc.
  4. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN SF Author

    I have been diagnosed with this. I try to be reasonable about what it is that I see in the mirror but the truth is that I find it really hard to agree with the diagnosis at all. I do not believe that what I see in the mirror is an inaccurate representation of what is really there. There is nothing wrong with my ability to percieve shape/proportion etc (I draw and I'm reasonable at it) so to suggest that the problem in my head is hard for me to deal with.
    Plenty of people think that they are ugly and have insecurities about their appearance. Few people (to my knowledge) feel physically unwell in response to their reflection. I don't really know what I believe to be honest. Clearly the condition exists - I just don't agree that I have it.
  5. pogosticker

    pogosticker Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean, Freya. I know some people who have BDD because of another site I use.. and there are lots and lots of good looking people there who's lives revolve around it, but they don't see what they really look like - so yep, it exists. But even though my doctor diagnosed me with it, I don't think I truly have it. I went to a support group once and while all of them were attractive or at least normal looking - one of them wasn't. So then I ended up quitting before the next session because I felt like that guy.

    I still don't know what I look like. I also wonder that if there's such a thing as BDD - seeing a worse reflection of yourself than is actually there - then surely there's an opposite - where you see a better reflection than is actually there.

    My perception of myself changes all the time. I love my good days - where I actually like what I see. But then other days, when I see nothing but ugly - I wonder if my good days are just my brain lying to me, making me look better than I actually do.

    I just wish I could see myself how others see me, so I'd finally know.

    It's ruined my life and right now it's just too much.
  6. grei

    grei Well-Known Member

    I've always been painfully self conscious, but recently I realized its developed into something much more, when I noticed I was thinking "if I can't fix this, I'm just going to kill myself, I'd rather be dead than have this". I researched BDD and meet every single criteria for the diagnosis. I know exactly what tipped me over the edge, but its hard to express without the fear of judgement. Even when I told my best friend that I realized I have yet another disorder, he seemed to treat it like I'm just being a hypochondriac. Admittedly I do have a lot of "things" going on at any given time, but I know its because of underlying issues (depression, anxiety) that just manifest themselves in different ways each time I start to overcome the previous "thing". BDD is the latest manifestation since I've overcome the ways my anxiety surfaced before this.

    My biggest issue is my skin. Any flaws make me feel like a hideous monster, and I can't tell what's real and what my mind is exaggerating. Like pogosticker said, there's such a huge difference with the slightest change in lighting, where I'm seeing my reflection, etc. I've scrubbed myself raw and bleeding several times, trying to "exfoliate" away the blemishes I find. I've also literally gouged out my pores with a sewing needle, because nothing else seemed to be getting to the gunk underneath, while also squeezing with my fingernails... also causing blood and scabs. I'm also a compulsive picker, so of course, the two problems don't work well together at all. I pick at little bumps or whatever else I can find, desperate to get rid of them, but end up with sores and scabs which of course sets the BDD off worse.

    Just as humiliating and distressing, but much easier to hide, are my cellulite and stretch marks. Close second is my build in general - I'm very short, so I feel like I have tree-trunk legs and fat arms and could never ever compete with the tall, lean girls you see walking around every day. It's already upwards of 100degrees here, and everyone else are walking around in short shorts and tiny tank tops, but I walk around in jeans and sweaters. I've spent so much money on lotions and creams that claim to get rid of them, and spend hours a day just applying all of the different products, or exercising (which in the last couple of weeks, I've given up on, because of worsening depression), or staring into the mirror trying to tell if any of its gotten better or worse, or waxing and plucking, or applying masks and acne creams, and on and on and on. I feel like no one could ever be attracted to me and I'll be this cripplingly lonely for the rest of my life, which I often find myself hoping won't be much longer. The people who have seen any of this, having no idea how bad it actually is, of course say that I'm overreacting or imagining things or whatever, and I KNOW they think I'm shallow or conceited, but appearances are so important in our world today that I just feel like if I can't compete with all of the flawless women walking around, I might as well end it because I will never have a life worth living.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2012
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