hi i wanted to write a post about BDD (body dysmorphic disorder) because ive never ever seen it discussed and i would like more people to be aware of it and maybe, some other people will realize they have it and not feel so messed up like i did for a long time
BDD is a disorder that makes you hyperfocus on your appearance, a lot of times its a specific part of your appearance. you obsess over a perceived ugliness and it preoccupies a lot of your time & makes daily functioning/social interaction very hard. its linked with other anxiety disorders (specifically OCD which i also have) and sometimes is thought of as being a subset of OCD
heres some symptoms in no particular order:
hiding/masking yourself (needing to put on a lot of makeup, always wearing sunglasses or baggy clothes, in my case i have to wear band-aids on my face and sometimes have to wear a literal face mask)
intense anxiety/suicidal feelings if “mask” isnt available
need for reassurance about appearance, but then immediately disqualifying any compliments you receive (”theyre just saying that to appease me, its because this picture was in a certain lighting/edited, i was wearing makeup” etc)
self-worth largely tied to appearance and thus feeling worthless very often. as a consequence it becomes really hard to talk about symptoms because preoccupation w/ appearance is seen as “vain”
withdrawal/fear in close or intimate relationships for fear of being seen as ugly
avoiding social situations for fear of being seen as ugly
looking in the mirror a lot (or avoiding mirrors), analyzing appearance daily, picking at skin/face/etc
comparing your appearance to other peoples (excessively and constantly: “people think this person is pretty and i look nothing like them so im ugly. people have called this trait ugly and i have it so im ugly” etc)
missing school, work, other events bc you feel like everyone will be staring at you and judging your appearance. this contributed to me dropping out of school
obsession with changing appearance or “fixing” perceived defects (personally i was obsessed with skincare for a long time and was always trying to find the perfect skincare routine and spent so much money on products trying to make my acne go away)
theres probably more but yea, this is getting really long! i would really really appreciate if people reblogged this so other people can know about it, also if you have any questions or just want to talk about your experiences feel free to shoot me an ask!
11 Things Everyone Dealing With BDD Should Say (But Can’t).
1. “I’m sorry that I’m constantly focused on my appearance; I don’t mean to irritate anybody. But I can’t stop.”
2. “When I rant about how shitty I look, it’s not to get sympathy, and it’s definitely not to make anybody else feel worse about themselves. It’s actually just how I see myself, every day - And sometimes I just get sick of it.”
3. “Please don’t tell me it’s all in my head. It doesn’t help.”
4. “Don’t tell me I’m being ‘superficial’, ‘trivial’, or ‘obsessive’. I’m already fully fucking aware - trust me.”
5. “I’m sorry I can’t stop fixating on diets, or surgery, or whatever fucking fix I think I need. Again, I’m fully aware that I’m as obsessive as hell.”
6. “I don’t mean to give off the impression that looks are all that matter. They’re not. I know they’re not, but it feels like they are.”
7. “The only person I’m judging by these insane standards is myself.”
8. “Every time I’m in public, I can tell people are staring at me. I know they might not be, I know they probably couldn’t care less about a random passer-by like me, but I can tell they’re staring at me.”
9. “I hate myself every time I look in the mirror - and not knowing if what I’m seeing is ‘real’, an ‘exaggeration’, or ‘not as bad as I think it is’, only makes me feel worse.”
10. “I’m sorry if you’re feeling fed up with me. I’m pretty damn fed up with me too.”
11. “I don’t want to be perfect. I just want to be more than this.”
Diet and beauty culture thrive on guilt. Guilt over that delicious dessert. Guilt over that dress size. Guilt over those wrinkles. They teach you guilt and then they sell you the solution. Please, never feel guilty for existing. You are allowed to eat. You are allowed to take up space. You are allowed to age. You are allowed to exist in the body you have right now without spending all of your time, money and self worth to change it.
While you’re all losing weight and/or making changes to your body, I hope you still love how you are right now. How you look doesn’t determine your value. Instead of wasting time hating your body, put energy into how you live your life.
Life would be so much more fun if I were pretty. I would actually enjoy getting dressed up, putting on makeup, and going out. I could focus on so many other things instead of fixating on being ugly. Imagine the friends I’d have! Imagine what its like to be pretty and do your makeup!! Imagine taking selfies with your friends!! Posting selfies on instagram and getting comments from your friends building you up and telling you how gorgeous you are! Imagine going on dates! Imagine getting free drinks and stuff from men!Imagine what shopping and trying on clothes is like being pretty! The simple, seemingly basic things that I dont get to enjoy sound so amazing. And pretty women take it all for granted.
I will learn at 17 what it takes some people decades to accept: that pretty girls who play to patriarchy and ugly girls who never got asked to a school dance suffer just the same. That the same trick is being played on all of us. There is no way to play the perfect-girl game and win.
If you’re constantly ashamed when you’re growing up, when you become an adult you’re constantly ashamed. And when you get close to people you assume they will only like you as long as they see you in your best light. There is the profound desire for closeness and the profound fear of the other person. You start getting close to someone, they do something that might not be perfect, and it triggers a terror response and you run away…
-my face morphs in front of my eyes when i look in the mirror sometimes. my eyes change position and float away from each other. my nose balloons out then goes back to normal occasionally. my lips shrink then enlarge to an bad proportion. i don’t look REAL, i don’t know what i look like. my face looks like a basketball then its too thin. my cheeks are too big and then too small, my chin is too fucking big and i want to cut it off. my eyes are too small, my eyelashes are too short, my eyelids are huge.
-everyone talks about you. everyone. everyone looks at you and thinks you’re ugly, if they compliment you they’re probably lying.
-people on tv talk about u and how ugly u are. even people u don’t know are thinking about how ugly u are.
-u spend hours and hours thinking about how you can fix your appearance.
-you hate yourself for being so vain.
-you compare yourself to every single person you see. you wish you were anyone else but you.
-you measure your face to make sure it didn’t grow or shrink and it has to fit the exact ratio of 1.6 or else you need plastic surgery
-no makeup means panic attack
-every bad thing that has happened in your life happened because of how you look. didn’t make the team? cuz you’re ugly. don’t have friends? you’re ugly. failed your quiz? you’re ugly.
-whenever people talk about appearances, about anyone’s appearance, this is a DIRECT ATTACK TOWARDS YOU.
-pictures/videos are HELL. but you take so many. to torture yourself.
-people think you’re an absolute bitch