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I Overcame BDD!

I really feel for anyone who has BDD, it is just the most terrifying and debilitating disorder anyone can suffer with in life.

For over half of my life I suffered with BDD, it is a hugely debilitating disorder that makes living life so difficult and terrifying. It ruined my career opportunities, dating was impossible and I just stopped living life because of it.
My problems developed after being called ugly and ridicule, put downs, etc. for my looks in my teenage years and early 20s. I became so self conscious and distressed by my looks and hated being seen because I just was so hurt and distressed by being ugly and being seen and judged as ugly.

I tried everything to overcome BDD, I saw therapists, I did CBT, hypnotherapy and read all the books but nothing helped. In the end I decided to try and overcome BDD myself by trying to understand my problems and the solution myself. It took ten years but I finally did it. My life is free again like when I was a child, I can be myself after all these years and live my life being myself rather than always being self conscious and pre-occupied by my looks and what people will think of my looks.

I wrote a book on how to overcome BDD - it is called: body dysmorphic disorder - a guide to understanding and overcoming being excessively self conscious of one's looks by a former sufferer. I would love for anyone who has BDD to read it and review it, I believe the reason why so few people seem to overcome BDD is because it is wrongly defined and the so called expert's ways to overcome it are wrong.

You can all overcome BDD, I am living proof of that it can be done if you target it the right way, so never lose hope!
rob3999 rob3999 31-35, M 2 Responses Jul 28, 2013

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So...We can unlock the secrets of self love, so long as we shower your bank account with cash. Awesome.

That is a bit unfair. I am happy to chat (over messages) about overcoming BDD to anyone. I wrote the book because I didn't like or agree with the existing books out there, they are all written by people who have never even had BDD. If you would ever like to chat about BDD drop me a line.

Excuse me, then. I saw no offers for less commercialized assistance and your post read exactly like those who made promises as long as money was handed over in return, something I've come to consider a sign of scamming and profiteering from the hopes and pains of others, i.e., nothing close to real help. It's such a prevalent thing that it has become a red flag to me. I'm not really accustomed to finding help within reach.

However, I will consider communication with you in the future.

I understand and it was probably wrong that I write the post promoting my book.
To be honest I have hardly sold any copies and am probably going to withdraw it from publication.
I totally agree with you that the existing books and specialists out there are IMO hopeless and don't understand BDD at all. I would be surprised if you could find me anyone with real body image problems that have overcome them using their techniques.
I have read some of your other posts and I can see that you seem to be distressed by your looks and they have a big negative impact on your self esteem. Can I say 3 things that you should think about.
(1) I see you mention fluorescent lighting and how you think you look awful - well fluorescent lighting does not contain any warm colours of the spectrum, it is like white lighting and shows up blemishes and is very unflattering - so yes you may think negatively of how you look under that lighting but we really all do, it is horrible light but it is used simply because it is cheap.
(2) I used to feel so distressed, hurt and fearful for being ugly, but one thing that helped me so much was when I learnt to redefine ugly. Ugly really only means that you have an appearance that is not celebrated by society - there is nothing wrong with that. I mean there is so much pressure on women and men to look a certain way to be deemed beautiful and handsome and so many people get so hung up on their looks because they don't look how the media and society thinks one should look to be beautiful or handsome. But there is nothing to be hurt or feel bad about for not being born with the looks that society and the media celebrate and to each individual, they have their own subjective opinion of what is beautiful and attractive in a man or woman.
(3) This is something I think is amazing, I thought about this when reading about Plato, an ancient Greek philosopher. Basically our mind/soul and body are two different entities, the person that we are is our soul - that is the person we are inside. Our looks is something we were just given at birth - no one had any say or control over their looks, it was all down to genes and chance. Being born beautiful/handsome is not an accomplishment. It is like people who are lucky being born in fantastic places in the world - someone is born in Switzerland, Barcelona, Rome, Melbourne, Monte Carlo, etc. and some people are born in awful places like Somalia, Syria, South Africa, Chad, etc. No one has any say or control over it - it isn't fair when one person is born in a wonderful place with fantastic opportunities and a high standard of living and someone else is born in Somalia with a hard life and no opportunities. It doesn't make anyone superior or inferior how they are born or the environment they are born. But my point is if you see your mind/soul being a separate entity to your body (looks) - you can start to not associate your appearance with you the person inside. i.e. I have been called ugly many times in my life, but now I see my mind/soul as being separate to my body and looks - I don't see it as a personal attack on me the person inside - I see it as an attack on the looks I was given at birth and had no say or control over.
Anyway, just thought I would share some of the really powerful techniques that has helped me overcome the fear, hurt and distress about being and being seen as ugly. Good luck in overcoming the issues that trouble you.

You shouldn't remove your book from publication. I didn't mean to imply that you shouldn't have written it. I was just frustrated with what I had read here. I wish I could write a book of my own. It's a great accomplishment.

Thank you for listening to my concerns with the presentation of your post here. I feel bad for how I approached you but I can't say truthfully that these things don't matter. I read the title and then I grew defensive and crushed. When I try to fully express my self image problems to friends and family, all I hear are positive things that I SHOULD take to heart but can't because of stupid reasons I don't understand just yet. It's very clear to me, for example, that my nose is the shape it is in. I have studied it intently and there is no possibility that I have imagined any of the characteristics. It is a shape I dislike. When someone tells me it is nice to look at, they have contradicted a fact, and I have as much trouble buying into the contradiction as I have buying into the proposition that the moon is made of cheese.

And I do realize that it is all completely irrational of me to think and feel this way, but after years of watching every other girl around me blossom into a feminine figure, followed by taunting and being used multiple time by partners who left me after a year or so, followed by most other women I know possessing bodies I consider healthy and beautiful and WOMANLY, it's beyond my control at this point. I'm even happily married and I dismiss his compliments with annoyance.

I feel shallow and foolish and spiritually unattractive now, not just physically. I should work on that for sure. Thank you.

The thing is, your fears and beliefs are not irrational at all, they are totally rational and logical. I mean you mention taunting - I am guessing put downs? Put downs, negative judgements are soul destroying - it is like you the person inside being put down and judged negatively for who and how you are, even though you had no say or control over the looks you were given to wear in this life. I was called ugly many times, I have been insulted and laughed at in the street, I have been called names, been ridiculed, etc. - it has huge negative impact on your self esteem and self worth - and it is no wonder that you the person inside is so hurt and distressed by your looks when you have seen and believe that your looks cause you to be judged negatively.

People don't understand unless they have experienced the same things - so I can totally relate to you saying friends and family - I mean them saying positive things does nothing to overcome the fear, hurt and distress you feel about your looks.

I too was so self conscious of my nose, seriously self conscious to the point where I would always be hiding my nose side on to people, I would look away from people or pretend to wipe my eye or rest on my hand, I would just do anything to hide my nose. I was ridiculed and put down over my nose many times, I was called ugly for my nose - hence why me the person inside wanted to hide it as I hated me being seen as ugly.
I am not self conscious of my nose any more. Do I like my nose? No. How have I overcome being self conscious about it? Like I say, it is about no longer being hurt by being seen or judged as ugly. I also know that what anyone thinks of me is one person's subjective opinion, it is not a fact and it is a not a judgement of worth. At the end of the day I realise that we all like and dislike different things - whether it is music, food, sports, films, drinks, clothes, places, etc. and it also includes people and looks. If someone doesn't like how I look there is nothing to be hurt by that. Should a music band be hurt if someone doesn't like them? No - of course there will be people who won't like them. There are 7bn people in this world and it is impossible to be liked by everyone.
The fact is that there will be people who think negatively about my nose but that is a judgements on the looks I was born with and had no control over, it is not a judgement on me the person. But there will be loads of people who won't judge me negatively about my nose, but however they think it is all about their mind and how they think. If someone cannot accept me or like me because the nose I was born with is a bit bigger than ideal well that is their problem.
You are not shallow at all either - it is probably more of a case that you believe everyone else in this world is - but they aren't, even though at times it feels like everyone is.
Your major problem is that you are just so connected to your looks - you probably believe your whole worth is based on your looks and believe people judge you based on how you look. That is why the technique of seeing yourself as mind and body is so good - you can start to live your life purely as you and think that any negative judgements on how you look is not about you, it is about the looks you were given.
At the end of the day none of us had any say or control over our looks, we are all unique and different, you should not feel unworthy, inadequate, inferior, not good enough for being different because we all are!

I don't know what to say. I don't want to feel the way I feel anymore, but I'm always super turned off by any thoughts of effort to change.

"I miss the comfort in being sad.''

It's what I know.

You don't have to feel that way. It really doesn't have to take much effort and change. I hated the old BDD books written by 'professionals' - I did CBT, I did the exercises they made me do like taking photos of myself and challenging beliefs - they just didn't understand. To overcome BDD you don't need to do any stupid tasks like that, you just need to learn a new way of thinking.
You sound like a really cool person, you deserve to live your life as you, the person you are inside. Pursue your dreams and goals, you can achieve anything if you overcome BDD, don't allow yourself to be held back any more!

I want to try real work soon on fixing this. I'm so done with this CRAP. Seriously. I've thought about the possibility that I will enter my 50s and STILL feel this way. It has to stop or it really will deteriorate into some unspeakable ''solutions'' for me if even another ten years of it go by.

It just seems like all of the dopey mental exercises are the only ones. I won't force you to reveal too much or otherwise waste any more of your time but it seems like the standard is,

"Look in the mirror and tell yourself, 'I love you.'"

And THAT'S where I shut off. No real sign of what I do once the shutoff begins.

''I love you, AW! You're beau...Oh. Ew. Nevermind." And then what?

You're right in everything you say, it has to stop in order to be able to live a happy and fulfilling life. Feeling so distressed and troubled by your looks not only makes one feel unhappy but it holds one back so much in life and some people think you should just snap out of it but it doesn't work like that because the majority of the problem is subconscious and is triggered subconsciously.

I totally agree, advice such as tell yourself you are awesome and love yourself is a load of nonsense. It does nothing to overcome hurt and fears you feel.

I also agree all the dopey mental exercises that you are told to do in books and by the professionals are just stupid. They just don't understand. The first person I saw about my problems told me the solution was to have surgery. I was paying £50 an hour for that advice. It makes me mad that people target people so troubled with such pathetic advice.

I don't want people to buy my book so anyone reading this please don't buy it - just send me a message and we can chat about things, I would rather reply to people's mails. You can ask me anything, I love chatting about BDD and body image issues.

The answer to overcoming BDD is nothing about believing your are beautiful or handsome - trying to believe that is pointless, what happens if you receive a negative judgement, what happens when you see a bad image of yourself, what happens when your looks fade as you get older? But the fact is, you don't need to be hurt and distressed by your looks if you weren't blessed with 'good looks' - and even then good looks are subjective. It doesn't need to make you feel shameful or unworthy or inadequate.
Send me a message or write on here if you want to discuss things more.

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond again. I was in a deeper funk than usual up until yesterday - Though I think these ''funks'' are growing more common for me - but I feel less angry and sad than I did yesterday.

I will continue this message privately with you. This is supposed to be a happy post and I don't want to ruin it any further with my downeryness.

It is so wonderful that you overcame BDD! Like you said, it is a very debilitating & terrifying disorder. I have BDD. It has and does affect every aspect of my life. I am not able to work, drive, or basically leave my home because of BDD. I leave my home maybe once a week. I am in therapy doing weekly phone sessions and have been doing so for a few years now.

I think this was a great response! Also, I'm curious to know more about your book. I also think that it's great that you wrote a book about it. Is it sold in stores or online?

I read & was told that this disorder has the highest rate of suicide. I can totally relate as I've had my moments. BDD, at times, just makes me wish I was gone.

I am glad to see that someone overcame this disorder. I hope one day that I can but for now, I am scared & overwhelmed with anxiety & other issues that make it even more difficult. However, I am not giving up, I am still trying and hanging on.

Thank you for sharing your story. It was inspiring.

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What a wonderful story! It really gives me hope and I'm really happy for you that you were able to overcome it. You truly are an inspiration for BDD sufferers everywhere. I will definitely get round to checking out your book :)

Thanks for your kind message. Yes, I think it is important to know there are people out there who have beaten BDD - who suffered so badly because it is easy to feel there is no hope when it seems impossible and the recommended solutions don\'t seem to work. I would be so interested to know what you think of my book - if it doesn\'t help you please request a refund, I didn\'t write my book for money, but simply to help others and because I felt angry at the current books out there written by so called experts who clearly do not know the answer but still charge up to £16 to read their suggestions. I absolutely believe my book can make people overcome BDD and I promise to refund anyone who it doesn\'t help.
BDD can be overcome, the only reason why so few have done is because IMO the current literature and recommend suggestions such as CBT are misguided and wrong.
Good luck, feel free to ask me for any help or advice any time.