My Bdd Has The Power To Take Over My Life, If I Allow It To

I have BDD. I'm 23 years old and I have been dealing with BDD since I was 19. It has been an emotional roller coaster of turmoil, self hatred, shame and pain. Originally I had a really bad cold sore, like huge, on my bottom lip. I had never experienced such an anxiety before. I was obsessing over its healing process, worrying that it would never go away, examining it every minute, constantly fighting the urge to go to the mirror for some sort of answer. When that went away I obsessed that there was a terrible red scar on my lip in the place of the scab. For months I suffered sleepless nights and anxiety that got in the way of my ability to be in the moment, to enjoy life, to accomplish tasks and to have self confidence. I was always checking the mirror hoping to see whether the scar was there or not, if it had gotten any worse or any better. I spent so much money of lip glosses and chap-sticks and even researched getting my lips lasored or tattooed to cover this "scar" that no one else could see. This imaginary scar tormented my every day bringing me to tears. Every night i hoped I would sleep and would cry in the morning because once again I had watched the sun come up. I tried not to obsess but it seemed impossible. I think I eventually worked this out on my own through therapy and will power. Friends, my family and boyfriend helped a ton. I stopped wearing lipstick everywhere and traded it all in for Burts Beez. I had been feeling better for a few months when out of no where I became obsessed with my skin, I felt like my acne was disgusting I was in tears over it. (I had always had some acne mild for the most part) All of a sudden I was hideous and i looked up all sorts of skin remedies and products. I didn't stop obsessing about my skin until I got another cold sore the following year, which naturally, led me to my previous obsession about my lips. I was constantly worried that I would get another one, that it would come back and that I would fall to pieces the second it happened. I would worry before big events that it would happen constantly checking to be sure that it wasn't there, I was always touching my lips, looking at every thread to be sure it that everything was fine. This is an obsession that has lasted since then, so almost 2 years. no cold sore yet, but still anxiously awaiting its arrival. I started taking celexa last winter and it really worked for me, but of course as soon as I started feeling better I stopped taking my meds. And here we are again. I have had a breakdown over a cold sore that was never even there and peeled off about half the skin on my top lip. So...i caused all of what small problem there is and cannot stop obsessing about it. I feel guilty and horrible that I caused this and constantly worry about how it appears how it will grow back. My girl friends have been so sweet to come to my house and visit with me since I wont go outside. Finally today, my friend Ashley made me go outside with her, we grabbed starbucks and took it down to the bay to talk. She is a very free spirit and honest person. She is always positive and great to talk to. She made me realize that life is too short for this and that I have so much more to offer than whatever this perceived flaw matters. She made me realize that we have to take each day at a time live in the moment and just deal with what we've got. Currently I've got a raw top lip and the urge to glance at it in the mirror every five seconds. But I am fighting that urge because I know the ointment I am putting on my lips will heal them and that I have to leave them alone. Rationally, I also know that me looking at them is not going to change their appearance. I'm trying to be rational and positive. But its easier said than done as we all know!
Ashleyxoxo Ashleyxoxo
22-25, F
2 Responses Jul 19, 2010

Ashley, I'm struggling with my own perceived flaws as well-- but one thing I've been told multiple times is that people aren't scrutinizing us nearly as much as we do to ourselves. That is-- I sometimes feel like if I leave the house and don't look good (which is every time I leave the house)-- that people will hold me in contempt for being imperfect. When you walk around-- do you hone in on any imperfection you see on others? Of course not. This may help to consider when you start itching to check out your sore again. You'll beat this-- you've got the right attitude, and you sound like a strong gal. Keep your chin up.

Ashley, I'm struggling with my own perceived flaws as well-- but one thing I've been told multiple times is that people aren't scrutinizing us nearly as much as we do to ourselves. That is-- I sometimes feel like if I leave the house and don't look good (which is every time I leave the house)-- that people will hold me in contempt for being imperfect. When you walk around-- do you hone in on any imperfection you see on others? Of course not. This may help to consider when you start itching to check out your sore again. You'll beat this-- you've got the right attitude, and you sound like a strong gal. Keep your chin up.