I suffer with BDD but how do i overcome it?

Posted , 9 users are following.

I've never been happy with the way i look. Its always been a problem i have suffered with and recently its become a lot worse. I feel like people stare and whisper when im in public, i feel judged all the time and because of this i never want to leave my house. Well this resulted in me taking a large amount of medication and having to stay in hospital. My family and friends didnt believe how bad i was affected and they still dont understand now. Nothing has changed and im still miserable. i pretend to be sick just so i dont have to go to work (i work in a popular food place), i blow my friends off because i dont want to leave my house. Id rather sit and cry at my reflection then dare go outside my front door. Im sorry if this is the wrong place to post this but i just dont know what will help. I have to talk to a therapist due to the hospital but talking wont change what i see in the mirror. Im so tired of feeling this way feeling like no one else feels the same. Has anyone else felt similar to this?

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17 Replies

  • Posted

    Its interesting that you say talking to a therapist won't change what you see when looking in a mirror. That's true, neither will medication, but talking will change what you think when you look in a mirror. Therapy really does work, it takes time and commitment and honesty and to be ready for it, but it can make all the difference on the world
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    • Posted

      Thank you. I think I'm just scared to talking to someone to be honest cause when I've tried to talk to someone ( a family member or friend) they totally dismiss it and believe I'm just being daft. But I guess speak in with someone I don't know may be what I need!
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  • Posted

    Hello Lizzie,

    Is your problem that you look perfectly nice...but you see only the negatives OR do you really have some feature that is maybe out of proportion to your other features? If you yourself saw someone who looked like you, would you find that person unattractive?

    Look up 'before and after' makeovers on the internet. I am sure you will see that with a nice haircut, some well applied makeup and flattering clothing, people's appearance is greatly enhanced. Have you see movie stars without makeup? Many, if not most are plain Janes. 

    But if for example you have a very large nose...or severely receding chin or protruding teeth...why not get plastic surgery.? Go to your bank and ask for a loan if necessary. Many people would not agree that this is the solution...but we have one life to live so why not live it being attractive?

    Again, however, if your perception is skewed and really, you are perfectly nice looking, counselling is the way to go. You say you have BDD... Is that body dysmorphia? If so, then disregard the plastic surgery idea...you will not be happy with any result. 

    Because this is undoubtedly due to a biochemical brain imbalance, you may need to be on medication. Even with medication you can try to develop a positive outlook,. Turn your thoughts away from negativity, think of others and their concerns instead of always your own. The last thing you want to do is stay secluded in your home wrapped up in your own thoughts. You could set yourself goals such as walking to the end of the street and back. The next day go a bit further. Before you know it, you will be walking a lot. Not only will you be getting your mind off yourself and looking outwards, but the exercise and daylight will both lift your mood. There is an actual chemical reaction in the pineal gland in the back of the eyes that results in mood enhancement in the brain. Same with exercise.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    Let me know which of the two cases in the first paragraph fits your case.

    Robin (female) 

    You have an awfully cute name btw. Lizzie...adorable!

    When you wake up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror and SAY nice things about your appearance. Before you can get negative, walk away. 

    Good luck


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    • Posted

      It's everything to be honest! I have a skin condition which comes and goes and has no cure which makes it all the more worse! I look at other people and I just wish I could be them instead of myself. People say my imperfections are in my head but I know they are there and it feels like people just lie and say I'm okay to make me shut up about it rolleyes I wear make up and have long dark hair. I try not to be noticeable but either way I feel like I am rolleyes if I don't check my appearance in a mirror it's in a phone or I can't help but constantly ask if I look ok. I probably annoy them all but I literally can't stop. Even when I'm at work I have to check what I look like just incase my make up has smudged! 

      Thank you I like your name aswell!

      And thank you for replying!

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    • Posted

      Hello Lizzie, I know this suggestion will  not be popular....but why don't you visit a plastic surgeon and ask his opinion? I suspect that he/she would either suggest that

      1. you do not need surgery

      2. and that if you had it, because of a psychological, dysmorphic condition that you 'may' have, surgery will not make you happy....because the issue is not really your appearance but something within.

      3. OR...the doctor might agree that your appearance could use some tweaking.

      Consider that if the plastic surgeon gave you answer 1 or 2, this could convince you that you really are fine the way you are. The doctor would have no reason to lie to you in order to be nice.

      You call your problem with your appearance 'imperfections'. In other words, your appearance is not 'perfect'; it is IMperfect. But who IS perfect? Would you really want to look perfect? It's our unusual bits that make us unique and interesting.

      You ask if anyone feels this way about themselves. Personally, I don't particularly like my chubby cheeks or rosacea or errant hairs that I have to constantly pluck. But I consider myself pleasant to look at... Is anything or anyone ever perfect?

      You doubt that therapy could help. Therapists are knowledgeable in treating your particular condition. Like with OCD, I believe you could see major improvements in a short period of time. 

      I hope that with therapy and hard work on your part, you find inner peace and tranquility. Good luck, Lizzie!

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  • Posted

    I think Lizzie some therapeutic help is what you may need, medication may play a part or it may not. Please do look for some help, its tempting to simplify what might or might not be quick fixes or fixes based on wishful thinking or simple steps, but a deal seated long term problem needs to be respected and dealt with medically or therapeutically. I wish you a lot of luck
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  • Posted

    Honestly, Lizzie.  If you can not care what people think because all of us are imperfect in someway...some of our imperfections are more noticeable than others...and we are all different "flowers" in God's garden.  He loves you as much as He loves the person you think is judging you.  Also, usually when a person criticizing others, they are trying to hide their fawls.  However, much of what you think is probably imaginary.  Sometimes medicine can make you feel worse.  Being honest with a therapist is a good idea.  He/she might recommend natural supplements to help with your anxieties and give you techniques to deal with your self-image.  There are people with much of their face distorted, lose limbs, obese, blind, deaf, etc and learn to be happy with what does work and are comfortable in their own skin.  I think you are your worst enemy.  However, I am praying that you become your friend. Much of what we worry about doesn't come true or is not true (only in our heads).  We can not change people but we can change how we respond to them.  A therapists will help you with positive responses and remember you probably can not tell a therapists something he/she has not heard before.  You are not alone and taking the appropriate steps you will get better and become happy.
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  • Posted

    Hi Lizzie,

    I'm sorry you feel like this. Have you spoken to your GP about this? Because there is counselling/therapy that they could arrange that I'm sure would really help you!

    I really don't think plastic surgery is the answer, especially for someone with body dysmorohia as it would be never ending. Unless you receive treatment for the root of the cause, you would never be happy, no matter how much plastic surgery you may have!! Changing your face/body won't help the thoughts.

    Talk to your GP about sorting the bad thoughts out, and if the skin condition bothers you, you could ask your GP about that too- could be easy to sort out when diagnosed! smile 

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  • Posted

    Hello Lizzie Mae

    I have read your post and the replies with interest.  I cannot see your age anywhere?  You say you have friends that you push away, and that you have a job.

    Well, without being unkind, many people would wish for those two things.  So please try and look for positive things in your life.

    I have a lot of experience of life's ups and downs.  Believe me, when I say I was always conscience of my looks, and how I appeared to other people.  I always thought of myself as "plain old me".  However, now I have to say (and this sounds boastful) I am regarded as glamourous and groomed. (I was 75 two days ago).

    I have four wonderful grown up children, several grandchildren, all confident and attractive.  This is a brief account, and I really have had as many "downs" as "ups", but that is real life.  You need help in re-assessing yourself, and to be honest, those othe people  who you belive to be judging you, probably have their own issues.  This may sound a bit harsh in parts, but have faith in yourself.  It will come right in the end.  Good Luck!

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  • Posted

    Hello Lizzie-Mae

    Sorry about the typing errors and odd mistakes.  There is a machine working outside my house right now, and I can hardly hear myself think..so I blame that!  I am a typist and fanatical about English and Grammar to boot!  LOL. x

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  • Posted

    Hi all,

    I have deleted a few posts from this discussion as they are taking the discussion off topic. See https://patient.info/forums/discuss/inappropriate-or-offensive-posts-226544 which states the below:

    If you disagree with another user's point of view please remember these are open forums and posts are the user's own opinion(s) and it is up to other users as to whether they take the advice or not. You can state you disagree with another user's post but please do so in a polite manner. We cannot stop users posting their opinions or delete comments simply because another user may not agree with it as long as the post does not breach the T&Cs.

    If you wish to carry on the debate about chemical imbalance etc please start a new discussion.


    Emis Moderator

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  • Posted

    Hello again Lizzie,

    Have you ever watched The Dog Whisperer? This may sound off topic, but there is a huge message on that show. Sure, it's about how to control and manage your dog's behaviour but it is even more than that. It's about how a dog 'reads' your body language, your 'energy' as he calls it. We all have an energy or vibe that we give off. That is how dogs or cats communicate since they aren't verbal. We don't realize it by body language accounts for way more of our communication with others than we realize. So when you are among others, be aware of the messages you are giving with your body language. Do you walk erect looking straight ahead with a confident gait?Do you speak in a cheerful and confident tone? If you say that people stare at you (likely exaggerated, right?) it may be that they wonder why your shoulders are rounded and slouched, you are looking down and your face is hidden in your hair....and nothing more. 

    If you don't know the song, "Whistle a Happy Tune', go on line and listen to it. Jiminy Cricket offers some great advice!

    And tune in to the Dog Whisperer. Cesar Millan said on one show that he used to be shy and unsure of himself. When he approaches a dog, he not only acts confident but he FEELS confident.He dredges that up from inside himself and he projects strength, being in control and confidence. It takes practice but you can do it too.

    Ever consider taking up a sport where you need to be assertive? How about Judo? Any sport, even swimming lengths of a pool or aerobics will get you out, give you an outlet for your anxiety and give you an opportunity to practise being sociable. 

    Good luck, Lizzie Mae!


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  • Posted

    I feel the same way sometimes, especially as I get older.  And same as you, family and friends just don't seem to get it.   My sister knows about my anxiety issues, and still asks me to fly in an airplance to visit her.  That more than likely will never happen if I can help it.  Makes me want to scream.  

    What eventually helped me to get out of the house more often, was finding a therapist who was willing to come to my home, or do therapy sessions over the phone.  

    I also had the fortune of meeting a professional wildlife photographer who takes fantastic wilderness and wildlife photographs, who has a disability that caused extensive disfigurement.   She found a passion that overrode her fears / apprehensions about leaving her home.  

    With her as a inspiration, I also did some searching and found a passion that allows me to tell  myself," I don't care what people say, I'm going out to get this done ! Because it's something I want to do for 'me', and has nothing to do with 'them' - no matter what they think. "  

    Photograhpy helped me.  I am distracted by messing with the camera equipment and settings - I am taking the photograph because whatever I want to take a picture of is something "I" like, and I can process the images at home. 

    I also can post the images from home, too.  

    This was a good process to use to begin breaking the old habits and using the desire to capture a good picture to over ride my anxiety and negative emotions.  

    It was a slow process, taking quite awhile.  Hard at first, but did contain some fun too.  Interesting to look at life through the lens of a camera.  Will see details we all usually miss.   I actually became fond of taking photographs of spiders.  

    After doing the photography thing for a couple of years ( started around the house btw ) ; and continually being inspired by my friend, and with help from the therapist, I actually drove long distance across the country to visit some family members for the holiday season.  

    Was the same process for my photographer friend too.  A process that took some time.   Although difficult, she too was able to have some fun with "her" passion too.    

    That's what I would recommend, is finding a passion to pursue that overrides your apprehensions, and keep in mind that passion is yours and yours alone.  When you are engaged in that passion, it's all about you and what you want to accomplish for yourself.   

    And call around to find a therapist that you are most comfortble with and that will work with you.   


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    • Posted

      Great post! You have really found your passion and what is great about that is that by its very nature, it gets your mind off your worries and enables you to focus on something else outside yourself. 

      I too am an amateur photographer and I love macro photography too. I go on photo workshops as well; this coming November to Morocco for example. When i am behind the camera, it's like I am invisible. What matters is what I am photographing. You can really get into the zone doing photography. Then there is exploring sites such as Flickr or National Geographic to be inspired by the photography of others. Photoshop enables us to 'play' with our photos too which is fun and rewarding. 

      It really is excellent therapy to bring one out of one's shell or preoccupation with one's troubles. 

      But as you say, it's all about finding one's own passion. It could be gardening, long walks, swimming, kayaking; all of which one does on ones own where one can get completely into the zone. It's like meditation. 

      Of course there are sports and activities and volunteer opportunities where one is with others..which have their own benefits especially for those who feel isolated. 

      Great inspirational post!



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  • Posted

    Ok i know this over a year and i pray you are feeling better . I have just discovered i have been suffering with bdd for iver 2 yrs now and i just want to die some days ! It's got to the point where i don't want to take the trash out .... which is right outside my front my door sad The thing that gets me most is the horrible comments i have had about my face getting too thin . My friend said when she was drunk i looked like a crack head and i hear nasty comments if i do go out so im pretty sure its not in my head . Now i say i'm going to get surgery every one says theres nothing wrong !? Well there clearly is !!!! Even my own partner looks like he wants to hide when out in public . Infact have i even got bdd if im clearly hideous ?
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