deformed

I still believe in man in spite of man. I believe in language even though it has been wounded, deformed, and perverted by the enemies of mankind. And I continue to cling to words because it is up to us to transform them into instruments of comprehension rather than contempt. It is up to us to choose whether we wish to use them to curse or to heal, to wound or to console.
—  Elie Wiesel
What is BDD ?

People who have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) think about their real or perceived flaws for hours each day. They don’t have the ability to control their negative thoughts and don’t believe people who tell them that they look fine. Their thoughts may cause severe emotional distress and interfere with their daily functioning. They may miss work or school, avoid social situations and isolate themselves, even from family and friends, because they fear others will notice their flaws. They may even undergo unnecessary plastic surgeries to correct perceived imperfections, never finding satisfaction with the results.

The characteristics of BDD include:

“persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one’s appearance.”

BDD most often develops in adolescents and teens, and research shows that it affects men and women almost equally. About one percent of the U.S. population has BDD.

The causes of BDD are unclear, but certain biological and environmental factors may contribute to its development, including genetic predisposition, neurobiological factors such as malfunctioning of serotonin in the brain, personality traits, and life experiences.

BDD sufferers may perform some type of compulsive or repetitive behavior to try to hide or improve their flaws although these behaviors usually give only temporary relief. Examples are listed below:

Symptoms of BDD can vary, including:

camouflaging (with body position, clothing, makeup, hair, hats, etc.)

comparing body part to others’ appearance

seeking surgery

checking in a mirror

avoiding mirrors

skin picking

excessive grooming

excessive exercise

changing clothes excessively

People with BDD suffer from obsessions about their appearance that can last for hours or up to an entire day. Hard to resist or control, these obsessions make it difficult for people with BDD to focus on anything but their imperfections. This can lead to low self-esteem, avoidance of social situations, and problems at work or school.

People with BDD commonly also suffer from the anxiety disorders obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or social anxiety disorder, as well as depression and eating disorders.

This is a photograph of Raymond Robinson, a horribly disfigured Pennsylvania man born in 1910. Since he felt ostracized and shunned upon as he took his regular walks, and did not want to stir a public scene due to his appearance, he started walking at night instead. This sparked, sadly but interestingly enough, the local urban legend of the Green Man.

His disfigurement resulted from a childhood electricity accident at age 9.