Trigger Warning……I’m apologizing in advance as this may be triggering for some
“Comparison is an act of violence against the self.” – Iyanla Vanzant
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a body-image disorder characterized by persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one’s appearance. When you have body dysmorphic disorder, you intensely obsess over your appearance and body image, often for many hours a day. Your perceived flaw causes you significant distress, and your obsession impacts your ability to function in your daily life. You may seek out numerous cosmetic procedures or excessively exercise to try to “fix” your perceived flaw, but you’re never satisfied.
This a mental disease effecting more people than those with Eating Disorders. The diagnosis can come is varying degrees, but in any form is still a serious disease. I know how it feels to live with this disorder in a minor form. It’s unimaginable to think that I can love my body. I, also, can’t understand how people see a “different” me than I do. I know my vision is morphed. I mean, what do I really look like? That is what many people don’t understand about BDD. The way we see things is completely different than how other people see us, literally. It’s not just an idea in our heads, but is actually how we see ourselves and at the same time is not radiated to those around us. It’s such an intolerable disease that, at times, can be agonizing. Think about not ever feeling comfortable in your body and feeling physically sick when you look at yourself in a mirror.
Most people have a particular area that they obsess over. For men, it’s mostly areas of muscle strength; arms, legs, pecs etc. For women, it’s more areas of curves; stomach, thighs, arms, hips etc. There are more extreme cases where someone may go to any measure to “fix” themselves such as having plastic surgery. This is such an unpredictable disease and very hard to research and monitor. For some, therapy and alternative treatments can lessen the BDD symptoms over time, but no two people get the sames results. It’s not hard to understand why people without this diagnosis don’t get it, but then I don’t even think people who suffer with it understand.