Confused With Body Dysmorphic Disorder

i've read some of the posts on this thread and feel really sad at the thought that theres so many people who feel a similar way to myself, but at the same time relieved to know i'm not the only one. i feel that i need to share my own experience, in the hope that i can begin to get some sort of help as this is the first time for me really explaining how i feel. if nobody reads then hey, nevermind! but i think i'll feel better writing it all out anyway.
i'm 19 years old and for the last 4 to 5 years , i've had an issue with several aspects of my image. however, only in the last year has it become so serious that i feel its taking over my life. my mind is constantly focusing on how i look, and how other people always look better than i do. ive recently moved from a poor town, to a popular city, where i feel i compare myself so much more as theres a larger variety of trendy students and young, attractive girls. basically, to put it bluntly, i feel disgusting, and also feel as though everyone else thinks so too. i feel the need to ask friends, my partner and family for reassurance on how i look, yet when i receive this, or any form of compliment,  i automatically feel as though they are just feeling sorry for me. my biggest paranoia is with my legs (which look different due to several operations), and my weight, but this has escalated massively into paranoia with my thighs, belly, arms, face, feet, hair, skin. i spend for ever searching for a nice outfit to wear out which hides as much of these as possible, and then when i'm out, i'm taken over by a feeling of disgust in myself every time i walk past a mirror , car window, anything that gives some form of reflection on how i look. its gotten to the point where i now feel embarassed when going out, and the more i stay in, the fatter i feel, therefore going round and round in circles. these feelings have gotten significantly worse since i had a termination in january, which was kept secret from my family and friends. i feel as though ive nobody to talk to. i have now changed my contraception method to the injection as it is more effective, but has also made me go up to 10st so i am considering coming off it, but at the same time am too terrified in case i end up pregnant again. i've recently purchased slimming pills, but they seem a waste of money and therefore make me feel even unhappier that nothing seems to be changing and that i still feel so ugly!! i attempted to speak to my boyfriend about how i feel, and how i feel so unattractive to both him and  myself, how i compare and assess myself continously, but his reply to this was that everyone more or less has some concerns over their body. i havent mentioned it since as i felt slightly embarassed after this, yet i know that my problem is more than just a 'little concern' considering these thoughts are on my mind probably about 5-6 hours a day, whether i'm shopping, working or at home watching televisioh. if anyone has any advice on how i can get some form of help, whether it be through a doctor, book, drugs i'm not sure. i just would like to hear something from someone as to what i can do, because i dont know how i can cope with this crap any longer.

thanks for taking your time to read.
starryeyed01 starryeyed01
3 Responses Aug 2, 2010

I think only other people with bdd will ever understand us. My partner watches me cry everyday, avoid going out, picking at my skin, avoiding photos etc and still cant ever even begin to understand how bad I have this.Bdd is like a cancer of the mind.

There is a difference between a "little concern" and a life altering obsession. Don't let anybody make your problem into a trifle because that just makes things worse by adding shame/embarresment. I feel for you because I'm struggling with the same problem. The person who commented before me is right, you need to talk to somebody. And having a termination is stressful enough without all of the extra emotional issues. Just a tip about weight loss-instead of buying diet pills, try natural supplements that speed up your metabolism along with diet and excersize. Green tea pills are chocked full of antioxidants and naturally promote a quicker metabolism. Most weight loss pills they sell like xenical are actually very harmful (in xenicals case, liver toxicity). Also, you might have a vitamin B 12 deficiency (very dangerous, leads to dementia)-an unusual way to check without having your serum levels drawn would be to look at your fingernails. A person with a healthy amount will have little white "half moons" where the proximal part of the nail meets the skin. B12 boosts metabolism, though if you aren't deficient and you begin taking B12 it won't have much of an effect. If you are, your metabolism will improve. There are a ton of random weight loss tips, but they always work best with diet and excersize. No crash diets, and always remember to eat in the morning (even something small like oatmeal), if you don't your metab will slow for the rest of the day to compensate and your body will store more fat. I wish you the best of luck =)

It sounds like this really is bothering you, so don't be embarrassed to ask help. The closest people aren't necessary always the best options, they always don't take the problems of the mental kind seriously. Like you have experienced firsthand.<br />
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If therapy isn't an option, because of the cost or some other reason, just talking about it can make it easier. This place is a good start! Helping people with similar experiences get in touch and share stories, advice or just lend an ear for listening is what this place is for.<br />
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Good luck ad hugs for you! Hopefully it will get better, if not soon then eventually.