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Forums / Anxiety / For those who suffer with BDD

Topic: For those who suffer with BDD

17 posts, 0 answered
  1. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    24 August 2021

    Hello there,

    Hope you are all doing ok. I want to start a thread for those who suffer from Body Dysmorphia, otherwise known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I’m struggling. It’s utterly debilitating. For those who suffer from BDD then you will understand when I say sometimes you just don’t feel ‘right’. Like when you are out at someone’s house or at the shops.. you need to just hurry home because you feel uncomfortable. I have a sense of agoraphobia. I feel very uncomfortable when I have to leave the house. I don’t go to the shops much anymore because I am worried people will pass me and think “WOW! She is the most ugliest woman I have ever seen in my entire existence.”
    Does anyone else deal with this?
    I walked to the Post Office last week and I felt massively uncomfortable as cars drove passed me. I felt like everyone was judging me and looking at me and thinking I’m just atrocious looking. I’m scared of leaving the house for public transportation and going to university. I feel disgusting all of the time.

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Sasquatchion
    Sasquatchion  avatar
    15 posts
    24 August 2021 in reply to PsychedelicFur

    Hi PsychedeicFur,

    I am so sorry you feel like this. I also have BDD and I totally understand how you feel. Sometimes it's so difficult to even go to buy my weekly groceries, as I am concerned about what people might think of me. Can they see my stretch marks? Do they think my outfit is lame? My clothes feel tight in all the wrong places, sometimes I feel like they're squeezing me. If my beard isn't perfectly cut and my hair is a little shaggy I think that people will think I am unprofessional or a slacker.

    It gets very overwhelming sometimes!

    I am stuck in Sydney lockdown at the moment, but before the restrictions I would struggle to find an outfit to go to the gym in. I would try on all of my shirts before I find the one that "fits right" for that day. Sometimes they're too tight, or too loose or not long enough, ect. I think people must be making fun of me at the gym!

    I have had to cancel numerous dated with my girlfriend for this exact reason - just feeling incapable of going outside because I think people are going to judge me. I am lucky she is so understanding and patient!

    We're in this together PsychedelicFur!

    Cheers,

    Sasquatchion :-)

    3 people found this helpful
  3. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6151 posts
    25 August 2021 in reply to PsychedelicFur
    Hi Psychedelic Fur and Sasquatchion, 

    We wanted to quickly drop in and say how wonderful we think it is that you are both being so open about how you are feeling. We know that this is a really difficult thing to do, so we hope that you can both recognise the courage it took to seek support. BDD is a complex and challenging experience and so we wanted to check that you have both heard of the Butterfly Foundation.

    The Butterfly Foundation are a specialist organisatiosn that support people with body image and related concerns and they offer support over the phone, via chat, or through online groups. You can find a bunch of options for support here.

    They also have some information on BBD in particular if learning more would be helpful you.

    You are also welcome to call us on 1300 22 4636 to talk through how this is making you feel, or if you need any support. 

    Thank you again for being an important part of this community. 

    Kind regards, 

    Sophie M
    1 person found this helpful
  4. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    25 August 2021 in reply to Sasquatchion

    Hello there Sasquatchion, hope you are having a nice day. How are you doing today? How are you coping with the Sydney lockdown? I can imagine it must be an incredibly overwhelming time for you at the moment. I’m in Melbourne. And it’s the same. So I guess, I don’t have to imagine... I’m living through this stress too! We are in this together. We can get through this.

    Welcome to this thread about Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I am very sorry to hear that you have to deal with this. It is as you did say ‘overwhelming.’
    The response you left really, truly resonates with me. I understand exactly what you mean when you say ‘people may think of you as a slacker or see you as unprofessional.’
    I deal with that too. However it is based sometimes on the clothes I wear. Like if I decide to go to the grocery store when I am wearing tracksuit pants then people may see me as a ‘grub’ or they may see me as someone who does not have any ‘fashion sense’ Or they may not see me as ‘feminine’ and I really want to show off my eccentric and unusual style.. sometimes I feel less of a person when I don’t show off my style. :(

    I am so glad to hear that you have a partner who is patient and understanding. That is a true blessing. Fantastic to hear. I understand exactly what you mean - when you also say you have to cancel appointments or dates just because you are worried people will judge you. Again that resonates with me.

    I don’t like it when people don’t give me notice when they want to meet up with me. I don’t particularly like doing things so spontaneously. I have to know in advance.. unless I really feel comfortable with that person or I am ok with being vulnerable with that person.. otherwise I need to plan what I am going to wear and how I am going to look etc.

    When people cancel plans I get a feeling of relief because then I don’t have to stress about how I am going to look. People think I am being superficial but it’s our reality. Do you feel the same? Again I am sorry you feel that way. Although I am glad you have someone in your life who is understanding, supportive and patient. It’s a debilitating disorder because we don’t see what others see! It’s frightening and annoying. It’s like mind gymnastics.

    Take care of yourself. Sasquatchion, hope I spelt it correctly. Apologises if I did not.

    PF.

  5. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    25 August 2021
    Food guilt, oh how cruel!
  6. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    26 August 2021
    Would not wish it on anyone. Not even my worst enemy.
  7. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    30 August 2021

    It's one of those excruciating days once again. I don't even feel like leaving my room at the moment to be honest with you. I'm currently in the middle of online university classes and I am so thankful that I can have my camera turned off and people don't have to see me on 'my bad days.' In my new house, that we have just moved into, the bathroom has a massive mirror and I can see every imperfection that my body has. I don't like having such a big mirror in my bathroom, it is a real trigger for me. I think I may have to cover it up with a towel or a blanket very soon because I don't like seeing my body in such a distorted view. I fall down a rabbit hole of emotions when I look at my body in the mirror. I feel alienated. It is just awful. Today I feel really overweight, unattractive and unhappy. I refuse to leave the house on days like this. I spoke to my psychologist last week and he asked me a few questions in relation to the BDD and how is overall effects my everyday life. I always post selfies and update my profile picture on certain social media platforms, not because I want validation but it is a coping mechanism for me at the moment. If I feel down and need reassurance I will look at the pictures to help remind myself that today is just 'a bad day.' It is hard having a relationship with someone if you have a disorder like this that consumes most of your mental energy. I don't think I really want another relationship, at least for a very very very long time. As the people that I have dated have always used my BDD to take advantage of me and make me feel horrible about myself.

    I have not been inside a grocery shop in weeks. I did go to the Post Office roughly around two weeks ago and was fearing every moment of it. My brain was startled by the thought of - that people would drive past me and say 'eww take a look at that thing.' or 'I'd never touch that thing, even if you paid me.' I have developed agoraphobia. I feel like my bedroom is my safe space and haven.

    PF

    1 person found this helpful
  8. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    12 September 2021
    I refuse to let my BDD define me. I may have bad days but that won’t stop me from achieving my goals!! I’m strong and capable.
  9. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    13 September 2021

    Speaking to my psychologist more about my BDD this week during my phone consultation.

    It has become an hourly thing now - I feel like each and every hour I perceive myself differently. I've been trying to have positive thought about my appearance each day so that is at least something..right? :)

  10. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    14 September 2021
    I tried to make myself a little happier today by doing more in depth research for my university assessments. My distorted views of appearance still are however consuming my energy. It’s extremely mentally exhausting.
  11. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    10 December 2021

    The intrusive thoughts clutter my brain. Over the recent years, I hoarded some self deprecating and destructive thoughts. I’m dealing with food guilt to an extensive degree. It’s debilitating for me, in so many ways more than one. I have also internalised so much guilt and anger at myself.
    I have been clinically diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, chronic anxiety and high functioning autism.
    I then frequently restrict myself from things that are ‘deemed’ unhealthy. Like confectionary, chips or other foods that have a substantial amount of fatty oils e.g fast food.
    After I consume something ‘unhealthy’ I then force myself to go on a long walk. This has to be STRAIGHT after consuming the unhealthy piece of food. Otherwise if I don’t do some exercise I will feel disgusted with myself.
    I even get food guilt after eating healthy food too. Like it’s becoming quite unbearable.
    I especially think of myself in a toxic light once I have eaten something unhealthy though.
    I constantly look at myself in the mirror when I am near an object that is reflective. The big mirror in my bathroom is an enormous trigger for my body dysmorphia.
    I have to upload so many photos of myself on my social media. Not because I’m narcissistic but because these are the times that I believe I look ‘normal’ or at least somewhat ‘attractive.’ I find those photos flattering. And I feel like my looks are bearable in those photographs.

    I feel like everyone thinks horribly of my looks when they see me. I recently told a co worker of mine that I do long 5 or so km walks quite frequently. And she looked at me, up and down.
    Yet when another girl mentioned she was going to the gym she didn’t respond to her the same way. Instead - she just said “you are small enough.” to her.
    She probably thought that I am super overweight…

    This is so challenging. I need to go now. My thoughts are becoming too much.

    Hope you are going all ok.

    Sending warm hugs to those who need them. XX

    PF
  12. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    10 December 2021

    The world doesn't see WHAT I see..

  13. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6151 posts
    10 December 2021 in reply to PsychedelicFur
    Hi PsychedelicFur,

    Thank you for reaching out and for sharing your story with us. That takes a lot of courage and strength.

    BDD is a complex and challenging experience. We understand that this feeling must be overwhelming, especially if you struggle to open up to others and reach out. Please know that you've come to a safe, non-judgemental space to talk things through and our community is here to offer as much support, advice, and conversation as you need.

    If you would like some additional help we highly recommend that you check out the Butterfly Foundation.

    You are also welcome to call us on 1300 22 4636 to talk through how this is making you feel, or if you need any support. 

    Thank you again for being an important part of this community. 

    Kind regards, 

    Sophie M
    1 person found this helpful
  14. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Sleepy21 avatar
    4480 posts
    10 December 2021

    Hi pf

    I have bdd and u describe it well.

    I feel like I look ugly and so much worse than my peers, so want to stay at home for that reason, or in situations where I have control, I felt like everyone I'd laughing at me because of my appearance, it is heavy, tiring, and affects deeply bpmy day to day living

    1 person found this helpful
  15. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    12 December 2021
    I wear my mask when I go out in public because I am scared about how my face looks. Then some people just stare and laugh at me when I wear my mask. It’s a comfort thing. And it is a barrier for me. I am sick of my BDD. I feel like an extraterrestrial.
  16. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Sleepy21 avatar
    4480 posts
    12 December 2021 in reply to PsychedelicFur

    I'm not sure what to say but just adding that I relate, and sending caring for ur recovery.

    1 person found this helpful
  17. Whimbo
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Whimbo avatar
    11 posts
    13 December 2021 in reply to PsychedelicFur

    Hi PsychedelicFur,

    I related very much to your struggle with guilt regarding food. It sounds like you use compensation techniques to control your eating habits, such as exercising immediately after eating. It's worth reading about compensation and the negative effects on BDD that it can have.

    I have a pretty bad relationship with food too - when I start eating I feel like I'm out of control sometimes, and it makes me just want to jog for an hour or two to compensate. Compensation for me is all about control - I lose control to my food, I feel guilt, and I try to gain that control back by exercising. So therefore the key to mastering eating habits is not weight loss, as most think, but weight control. Here are some tips I've learned for gaining a sense of control, which may seem obvious, but they are integral to keeping a healthy mind and body, and they are all supported scientifically!

    1. Keep a meal routine - eat at the same time every day, preferably breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you snack, try to snack at the same time too.

    2. Aim to walk 10000 steps a day. This will be impossible to achieve every day, so if you only have a few minutes of spare time, 15 minutes of jogging or HIIT is enough to keep in shape. Exercise should prioritise your mental health and wellbeing!

    3. Don't be afraid to treat yourself with sugary snacks, but most of your snacking should be healthy grains, fruit, and yoghurt.

    4. If eating meat, the majority of your plate should be vegies and salad.

    5. Use your feet - stand up at least once an hour, take the stairs, stand up on the bus/train.

    6. Drink plenty of water, treat sugary drinks like a snack.

    7. Try to eat ~400g of fruit and vegetables every day (5 serves).

    8. Most importantly, practice mindful eating - try to eat without distractions, and eat at a table. This will prevent absentminded eating and help you control how much you eat.

    Eating your meals, avoiding compensating, and treating yourself when it's appropriate are the perfect ways to gain control over your mind and body. I hope this helps but no hard feelings if it doesn't!

    1 person found this helpful

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