Do you think I have body dysmorphic disorder? - Page 2 - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 05-14-2019, 03:35 PM #11
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Default Re: Do you think I have body dysmorphic disorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverTrees View Post
Thank you Fearless for this candid and brave response! I appreciate it very much. I would like to give you a safe

I hope it won't bother you if I quote you....to link my thoughts...

"Mine came hand in hand with an eating disorder, though. Started with anorexia then bulimia for decades. Over exercising. Now that I have given up those particular behaviors, it's even more glaring that BDD is a "fallback" for me"
I have had friends who struggled with eating disorders and it makes sense to me that BDD can be strongly correlated. I have not experienced anorexia or bulimia myself but based on my friends' shared truths, I can imagine how crippling and absolutely miserable that could be. Sometimes I think, if someone has trouble with drugs or alcohol they can get help to avoid use. But what does a person do when the trouble is food and we need food to survive? I am impressed that you have given up "those particular behaviors"...that must be very hard to do but I am also sorry that you continue to struggle with BDD.

"Meaning even if all is going relatively well, I can in one instant catch a glimpse in the mirror then be spun off into self hatred and disgust."
Been there so so so many times! So many times before I was even tuned into it if that makes sense?

"My family is very looks and comparing oriented. It will trigger an immediate "Must lose X pounds" or "must work out X amount" response. "
My family is similar. My sisters are in fact obsessed with external image and unlike me I think they perceive their worth as entirely based on their physical appearance. I believe I have an intrinsic worth (all humans do) which has nothing to do with how I look but I do still feel badly about the ugliness I perceive in myself. My sisters have often described me as "the frumpy one" or "the boring one" referring to my clothes and style. That is not how female friends have described me but sisters' comments can certainly cut deeply! I have actively worked on not approaching events (night out, social gathering) in the way that my sisters do....for them each night out is a massive ordeal....they must be dressed to the nines....perfection....etc. That's too much energy for me! I've scaled it way back. I believe my sisters likely have BDD but are unaware of it....they seem to think that the self-torment associated with a quest for physical perfection is just a normal part of being a woman. I find that really sad. I also have to keep my distance....my self-image gets much worse when I'm around them....not because of how they look but due to their comments and ideas about beauty and value. I spend hours and hours reminding myself that character is most important and that I am a kind and loving person so my looks don't matter. Then they'll say something like "Are you really going to wear that?" or "why don't you take more time to get ready before we go?" and then I'm inwardly at war with myself again.

The last time I saw my father (now deceased) and brother in person they made multiple comments implying that I am fat. Sure, guys, if you compare me to the bodies of size zero supermodels, I suppose I am "fat" (though not medically overweight). And what of it? Why do you need to say that to me?? Isn't there something really off about a father, brother, or sister evaluating their family member's shape, size, or level of beauty??? Two months after that visit to my father and brother, I was at a social gathering for my friend's birthday....I was the same weight/size. My friend's family, I'd never met before, was there too. My friend came up to me smiling and said: "My sister was just paying you a compliment and I'd like to share it." My heart sank but I said: "Okay sure." Then my friend told me: "My sister just saw you and immediately said Wow! Your friend is absolutely stunning! Stunning!" I was blown away and didn't know what to say. I was in the restroom about 10 minutes later, caught myself in the mirror and saw an awkward, ugly person and felt sick.

"A secret"
Yes! Me too! I carry it around and try to hide it. That of course adds weight to it. I did not share every detail of what I think is my BDD because I am still keeping some of those dreaded secrets!

"Wow, you look amazing!" My learned response is to smile and say, oh thanks. But inside, I am disgusted and how I feel does not match with what they reportedly see.
It is honestly like you have stepped into my own mind or spirit....this is how I often feel too!

The one and only time I mentioned this to my ex-T, she rolled her eyes and sighed out loud and said, "yeah, but you know that is a distortion, right?" That shut me right up. There is nothing helpful in confiding in someone how you feel, what you perceive....and then having them laugh it off and basically say, "well you're wrong."
I am glad she is your ex-therapist because that was far from good therapy! Ouch! I briefly confided in my former psychologist....I didn't get as far as details but confided something like "I feel really ugly and don't see what other people describe about me....I think it's a serious problem." She laughed and replied: "But you are a beautiful woman! You know you are! Don't be silly!" Cheers Doc!

Thank you so very much for sharing your truth Fearless. Between yourself and Inner ZOne I am already feeling less of a "freak" and less alienated because now I know that other wonderful people have similar struggles. And I would never suggest or think of either of you as "freaks"....that is one of those special horrible perceptions that my mind has reserved for me!
Hi Silver,
Addressing a couple of the things that came up...

Yes, unraveling from an eating disorder is extremely challenging for the reason you mentioned. We can "give up" alcohol and drugs but we surely can't live without food. So it is a riddle to anyone trying to live with it. (Like anything else though, for example anxiety...thinking about anxiety can make anxiety worse. Yet, anxiety is also biologically similar to excitement. Something we all feel and want in our lives. But it gets mistaken for anxiety, and the wheel goes round and round, feeding on itself.)

Yes, 100% perfectionist. In fact this is my greatest enemy. As a child it was my attempt at controlling a chaotic environment. I thought if I could get good enough grades, smile enough, be pretty enough...then things would be ok. They weren't. So then I would try harder. It became a very natural thing for me to fall into an eating disorder and alcohol. Attempting to be perfect is exhausting. And doesn't exist. And thus...another cycle is born.

I am a self proclaimed freak. But I am starting to understand why. I would say that in my travels I now know that almost NOTHING exists on its own...there is usually more than one person who thinks and feels and acts the same as another. There are very often common themes underneath the things. Love. Fear. Shame. Anger. Those things are hard to admit for perfectionists. But how awesome is it when we realize we are not the only ones?


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Old 05-14-2019, 09:09 PM #12
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Default Re: Do you think I have body dysmorphic disorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FearLess47 View Post
Hi Silver,
Addressing a couple of the things that came up...

Yes, unraveling from an eating disorder is extremely challenging for the reason you mentioned. We can "give up" alcohol and drugs but we surely can't live without food. So it is a riddle to anyone trying to live with it. (Like anything else though, for example anxiety...thinking about anxiety can make anxiety worse. Yet, anxiety is also biologically similar to excitement. Something we all feel and want in our lives. But it gets mistaken for anxiety, and the wheel goes round and round, feeding on itself.)

Yes, 100% perfectionist. In fact this is my greatest enemy. As a child it was my attempt at controlling a chaotic environment. I thought if I could get good enough grades, smile enough, be pretty enough...then things would be ok. They weren't. So then I would try harder. It became a very natural thing for me to fall into an eating disorder and alcohol. Attempting to be perfect is exhausting. And doesn't exist. And thus...another cycle is born.

I am a self proclaimed freak. But I am starting to understand why. I would say that in my travels I now know that almost NOTHING exists on its own...there is usually more than one person who thinks and feels and acts the same as another. There are very often common themes underneath the things. Love. Fear. Shame. Anger. Those things are hard to admit for perfectionists. But how awesome is it when we realize we are not the only ones?


FearLess47


I will read this more than once and continue to ponder over it. You are wonderfully insightful, Fearless!
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