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TheHayleyDoll 12-12-2009 02:56 PM

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
I found out about this mental disorder today, and I think there's a good chance I might have this. People tend to call me pretty, no matter how ugly I feel. There's always something that I see in the mirror that I hate.

Here's the wikipedia page: Body dysmorphic disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I suggest you all read through it, because it's quite informative and I don't really want to quote everything. I will summarize though.

BDD is a psychological anxiety disorder in which the affected person is excessively preoccupied with an imaginary (or slight) flaw in their appearance. This is a terribly dangerous disorder, and has more than DOUBLE the completed-suicide rate of major depression and 45 TIMES the general US population rate. People with this disorder are extremely self-critical with their self-image, and often wish they could change many things about themselves - despite being generally normal or even highly attractive. Others will often disagree or protest that this flaw even exsists, because the flaw(s) only exist in the eyes of the affected.

BDD is often percieved as a vanity-driven obsession, when it's actually the opposite. People with this will often compulsively look at themselves in the mirror (or window, reflection, whatever they can find) or sometimes cover up all mirrors.


According to the DSM IV, to be diagnosed with BDD, a person must fulfill the following criteria:
  • "Preoccupation with an imagined defect in appearance. If a slight physical anomaly is present, the person's concern is markedly excessive."
  • "The preoccupation causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning."
  • "The preoccupation is not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., dissatisfaction with body shape and size in Anorexia Nervosa)."[11]

Also, approximately 76% of those with BDD will experience some form of major depressive disorder at some point in their lives - much higher than the 10-20% of the general population. Eating disorders (such as anorexia or bulimia) are sometimes found in those who suffer BDD.

The most common areas that the "defect" exists are the skin (73%), hair (56%), and nose (37%). Other common areas include the toes, weight, abdomen, bre@sts/chest, eyes, thighs, legs, teeth, and facial features.

BDD usually develops during adolencence, where people are generally the most sensitive about their appearance. Personality traits like perfectionism, neuroticism, introversion/shyness, and sensitivity to rejection or critique can also make someone more susceptible to developing BDD.

I suggest you also look at the wikipedia page for the symptoms and compulsive behaviours associated with the under-diagnosed and little known disorder.

iluvdolphin6 12-12-2009 07:09 PM

This somewhat sounds like me :(

spirit_queen 12-12-2009 09:29 PM

Just what are you obsessing over, Hayley? O.o

I think I know a few people like this... I never thought it could be a dosorder. O.o

Silver_Wolf_Kitty 12-12-2009 11:12 PM

Its a really terrible disorder actually. Many people with eating disorders, especially when that disorder is centered around actually losing weight(some people use it for control), have it too.

I can't really say whether or not I think I'm suffering from it. I share a lot of these traits, but I think its different from the impression of BDD that I've had and is more heavily connected to my anorexia than this. Typically, when I manage to fix the flaws I perceive, I'm happy, its not never ending for me. If I work out, I feel better. If I'm not broken out, I tend to feel more confident. I usually only have those two points which bother me a lot and a lot of people with this tend to constantly pick things wrong with them, so even if one thing is better, they will continue.

Hayley, see the doctor. I worry about you darling and if mental illness happens in a first degree relative(like your mother), it increases your chances dramatically. Better to do it now than later because if it progresses, you might decide you don't have a problem. Many people with these sort of illnesses think that way.

TheHayleyDoll 12-13-2009 12:14 AM

I obsess over the majority of the things on that list, Spirit. My skin (too many pores, just disgusting), hair (too frizzy, naturally too... ugly), weight (could stand to lose a couple pounds), thighs (ew, stretch marks and way too big), teeth (not white enough), eyebrows (too thick), upper arms (too big), height (not tall enough), head (too small, facial features too big)... I pick apart everything it seems.

I didn't know it was a disorder until today, so don't feel completely out of the loop, Spirit.

Yeah... mental disorders tend to run in my family. >.>

I have a lot of the compulsive behaviours found on the list... compulsively checking the mirror, attempting to camouflage defect (I used to always wear hats to hide my hair - I also did that to distract from other features like my eyebrows. I also rarely wear shorts - unless it's really hot, I wear jeans because I hate my legs), I shave/pluck every time I spot a hair where it shouldn't be, I seek reassurance, comparing myself to others (do that ALL the time), etc etc.

I'll get it checked out sometime this week. I don't have time tomorrow, because I have to help my dad out with stuff at his work. >.>

spirit_queen 12-13-2009 07:14 AM

Oh, my. Well, a lot o f the stuff you're complaining about was never really visible to me whenever I saw a pic of you, especially the weight and height; you're taller and ore spread out than I am, so I'm thinking the size of your thighs probably fits your body... and it's much better than being one of those girls with drumsticks as legs, IMO.

I'm concerned for like Kitty is; even though we've never actually met, you're my friend and I want you to be happy. a mental illness will only make yo end up the opposite I hope that when you go see the doctor, that things will get better (however slowly).

sarika2004 12-15-2009 01:43 PM

I have a distorted body image but that is part of my eating disorder. I'm (recovering) bulimic and am so critical of my body. I was anorexic for over a year so I believe the thinking still persists even though I no longer meet the "official" criteria.

I totally understand what you're going through. I'm mostly concerned about my nose, eyebrows, abdomen, upper arms, and thighs. It's incredibly awful, it really is. People tell you "oh you're so beautiful" and you look in the mirror and don't see it. It sucks!

I've been in therapy for about 3 years now and still am working on this (among a host of other issues). I'm slowly overcoming my fear of weight and being "fat", you know, learning to trust other people when they say "you're still slim". It's hard, no doubt about that.

TheHayleyDoll 12-15-2009 08:34 PM

Yeah, my boyfriend is blaming himself a little and thinks I don't believe him when he tells me that I'm beautiful... That's not true, I don't think he's lying per say, I just don't understand what he finds so beautiful about me because I don't see the beauty at all. >.> It does suck, I agree.

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