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Bdd Essay



***This is for my English class, I know there's gonna be grammer issues and typo's, because I'm awful with that stuff!! lol. But, I tried my best. If you have any suggestions, please let me know respectfully =) thank you! and I hope you enjoy reading.

Every morning when I look in the mirror, I see a monster staring back at me. My eyes instantly shift to my crooked face, then to the craters in my cheeks, and then to my creepy soulless eyes. Instantly, I am filled with anxiety and depression, for I feel like I cannot go out into the world today. What will people think of me? The thought of even going to class and sitting down frightens me, none the less having to interact. I just know once I step outside, students at my university are going to be smirking, laughing and pointing at me, for I am a freak.

It sounds narcissistic, even over dramatic, but try saying that to the millions of people suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder or BDD. BDD controls my life and messes with the perception of myself. To begin, I will talk about the reasons why I may have BDD, my symptoms and triggers, and lastly my treatment.

Since I was twelve, I wanted to be beautiful. That’s all I ever wanted. Some kids were busy worrying about their game system or how many friends they had; instead I was worrying about my face. This seems odd for a young girl, but when I was a kid I was living in a not so healthy environment. When I was about 5, my dad left our family. Although this would bring sadness to most children, I was happy because he was delusional, manipulative and abusive in many ways. He left my sister, my mother and I with no money, a cold, empty house, and a pile of bills to pay. Since my mother was now a single parent, she had to work three jobs to take care my sister Shelley, who is 7 years older than I am, and me. Growing up, my parents were never around, and when they were, it was filled with brain washing non sense. My mother, who used to be a model, would tell us if we are beautiful then we would get everything we wanted in life. Yet as tensions grew, later, I was verbally, emotionally and often physically abused. I would often be told I should never have been born and that I’m ugly and worthless multiple times. Of course I took these comments to heart; they were from my mother after all. Yet as I grew up, I had to realize she had borderline personality disorder and depression, which runs in our family. Although she can’t control her constant mood swings and out lashes, she would still leave me confused on my worth as a person.

In school, I was never popular. From elementary to high school I had no friends. Maybe one good friend, but mostly they thought I was a joke. My worst experiences were in high school. I was called ugly every day, stupid, whore, and ugly again. I had guys even ask me out on dates for jokes. I know I wasn’t the prettiest girl; I had fried hair, braces, a flat chest, acne, and I was just beginning to learn about hygiene, but heavens there were worst people out there than me. For some reason, I was really picked on about my face. I had comments about how my nose was too Jewish, or how I looked like a man. These comments truly affected how I saw myself. I went from looking in the mirror and seeing an okay looking girl with a great personality, to looking like a disgusting beast who deserved nothing. Yet luckily, my symptoms didn’t fully come out until senior year of high school and my freshman year of college. When one has body dysmophic disorder, it’s like an out of body experience. I know what I am thinking is delusional and doesn’t make sense, but when I look in the mirror and compare myself to others, it reinforces my negative thoughts. I could be in front of the mirror for a whole day if I could. There have been times when I can’t leave the house or missed class because of an anxiety attack about my face.

As my self worth decreased, Every month I began to notice another thing wrong with my face; it almost seemed like my face was slowly shifting on me. I began to be obsessed with facial symmetry. I know the right side of my face is crooked; the eyes droop down, the cheekbones too sunk in. I am pretty sure my asymmetry is so bad that I have a congenital defect. I’ve thought about plastic surgery for my nose, eyes and jaw in the past, but as a working student, I cannot afford such costs.

Once all these symptoms came into play, my self worth and perception was completely skewed. I began isolating myself from people and society. I could not go to school, work, or even the mall, for I knew I would be awaiting social rejection. If I did go, I would start crying and shaking, knowing that people are staring at my grotesque features. Even though people may not say something directly to me, I can still feel their eyes on me, judging every aspect of my face. I know they’re thinking “God, what an unfortunate face…” And they’re right, I wish I looked normal. Sometimes I have gotten so depressed with my looks and feeling like an alien that I’ve planned out my suicide. Yet, the only thing that holds me back is the pain of dying.

For a long time, I didn’t know I was suffering from something. I was seeing a counselor for three years, until she diagnosed me with Body Dysmorphic Disorder. She says that people with BDD are obsessed with perceived or imaginary defects, but the thing is that they don’t seem imaginary to me. The laughing, the pain, the asymmetry all feels so real. Luckily, at my college now I was able to see a psychiatrist for the first time and I was put on medication. I’ve currently tried over 3 anti-depressants, 2 anti-anxiety medications including Xanax, and one anti-psychotic. Although they really do help with decreasing my negative perceptions and thoughts about myself, I still struggle every day to see the real me, inside and out. Medication doesn’t solve all my problems though. I currently want to enroll in Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, but it is so expensive. I think I would really benefit from CBT because it would reverse my thinking. For instance, Instead of thinking that someone’s laughing at me, I instead think they’re laughing at something else or a joke. I would also love to enroll in CBT or group counseling in order to relate to others and receive feedback and coping mechanisms. One day I hope I will be able to afford it and fight these inner demons.

For so long now, I’ve been seeing myself completely different how people see me. In my world, I see myself as worthless, creepy, awkward, and grotesque. I’ve become so self-absorbed in my own issues, I feel that everywhere I go, I somehow attract negative attention. Although in the past, I’ve been told a lot of negative things, I am now faced with the positive. One would find this wonderful to be receiving compliments, but it only leaves my perception of myself more skewed. BDD not only affects the way I look at myself physically, but me as a person. I believe my BDD has manifested from the years of abuse from my family and peers. The instances that I have gone through have made me feel negatively about my inner self, so naturally it would manifest itself through my physical appearance. Luckily with medication, I am able to focus more and not see myself as a worthless human being anymore. I do not wish to die, for I feel like the purpose of this disorder is to actually connect with others who have the same troubles as I do. It is my passion to inform those about this disorder and to help those who are suffering in silence.

In my sociology class, we learned about Cooley’s looking glass theory. The theory says that we naturally look to others to gain insight and knowledge about ourselves. Although I do believe in this theory, this theory has destroyed me as a being. I believe we should look inside ourselves to gain insight instead of others foolish and selfish perceptions. I continue to try and put less emphasis on my physical appearance, because appearance fades but personality never dies.


If you don't get an A* I'm going to beat up your tutor.

This is incredibly moving. It's very brave of you to write so openly like this. Your writing is very eloquent and beautiful.

I understand the feeling of thinking everybody is laughing at you. I too was laughed at constantly in highschool, bullied physically and verbally. As children we look to ourselves to try and find the flaws, not realizing that the problem lies within our bullies and not ourselves.

A bully is somebody who has been emotionally beaten more often than not. Their lives have created rage, jealousy, fear within them. They attack before they can be attacked. They feel like they can devalue you by calling you ugly, by trying to push you down. They feel like they'll be better than you if they can do that.

And in truth it's the opposite. They prove themselves ignorant fools unable to control their own emotions. And in the process they destroy the best parts of truly wonderful, innocent people.

A mother should encourage and nurture. Our family, of all people, should see past our physical embodiments.

I realize that paying you compliments right now would hurt. You'd think I was lying, just some good samaritan over the internet that saying one thing and thinking another. Maybe you'd even think I was laughing at you too. I understand because I used to feel like that. I understand because every time somebody luaghed near me I used to scan myself for faults.

I've over come this by faking it. By telling myself over and over that they're laughing about something else. By telling myself that people have no reason to lie to me. By re-inforcing in my head that what I look like does not define who I am. And even though I don't always believe these things, I repeat them. Obsessivley, in my head. And slowly they're becoming real.

You still have the voices of your mother and bullies in your mind. These voices are no longer coming from their owners but your own brain. We cannot get rid of our experiences and negative comments rear their memories when we are feeling low.

When you look in a mirror you do not see reality, you see what other people have said about you. 'Whore' - more like, 'you're so beautiful, and I'm so worthless and ugly. If I say that you're ugly too, you won't show people that pretty smile, and I'll look better!'. Men picking on you... they knew you were out of their league. They knew they could never get you. So they tried to convince themselves that they didn't want you. They tried to convince themselves that you're ugly.

These people weren't fooling anyone.

I've never met you. Right now, I'd love to know you in person, so that I could give you a big hug and make you whatever food you want and just listen. But even though I've not met you, I can just see who you are. Your intelligence shines through in your post. Your kindness is clear in your comments to others.

And in your photographs you are truly beautiful to me. On a superficial level, on a personality level. You're a wonderful, wonderful person. I'm not lying to you because I have no reason too. Some day, I hope you can let the good comments in, and believe them as thoroughly as the negative comments. Because the good is the truth and the bad is the lie.

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Really good job. I feel everything you said. It is so HARD living with this disorder, but sometimes I feel it's not a disorder, just a normal reaction anyone would have if they had a flaw like mine on their face.

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I can't add much more, Spotthedifference hit the nail on the head there. All I will say is that you're beautiful on the outside and there's clearly oceans of depth to you compared to those people who obviously contributed to your struggles. Where those struggles are concerned, I sense from your writing that you're plenty strong enough to get through it all and come out of the other side, without a doubt. :)

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Your story is incredibly inspiring. It's gives such an inside look into what day to day life can be like from someone who suffers from BDD, and it perfectly outlines the hardships and struggles of the condition. Spotsthedifference really said it best, it takes herculean courage to be this open and put your heart on your sleeve like this and share some of your inner most thoughts and insecurities. Fantastic read, Melissa. :]

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Thank you so much everyone!! It means so much to me :) I hope you all were able to relate ! I probably won't get an a, because it isn't exactley cookie cutter essay, but screw the norm!!

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You are such a courageous girl!

To have gone through everything that you have, to have to fight all the demons that you do on a day to day basis and then have the strength of character to then share your story and lay it all on the line in the hope that it will inform and help others who are suffering from BDD - it takes a special person to do this.

You are an inspiration to others who either suffer from BDD or any other form of body or skin dysmorphia. Reading your essay has made me realise that I am not alone - even though my own struggles pale compared to what you have been through and continue to go through.

I know it is going to be a long journey for you and it won`t happen right away, but I just know from reading this essay that you have the strength, character and spirit to come through this and find inner peace and contentment.

You deserve to be happy and you will be one day..

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I can't believe you actually wrote that. I wouldn't have the guts to do that. I'd be way too scared of what others would think of me or that everything would get worse. I'm glad you're brave enough to do that. Why can't there be people like you around me? You appeal to me much more than some dumb ass jock boy or materialistic bimbos..

It is hard, looking in the mirror. But what doesn't make sense is the continuation of looking in the mirror and the obsession. And taking so many pictures, and thinking that all strangers are staring at your face in public and pitying you in their minds.. it just doesn't end. It's tiring, that it never ends, that there is never an 'off' button.

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I haven't been diagnosed with BDD but I'm pretty much positive I have it and I'm looking into starting CBT as well. In the meantime, I've read a couple books that were pretty helpful that are on Kindle. The most recent book I found on the subject was the most helpful: http://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Body-Dysmorphic-Disorder-ebook/dp/B008TRUJI4/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1354944248&sr=8-1

It walks you through various CBT treatments for BDD and it is very positive in tone while still taking the disorder seriously! Just wanted to pass it on since you said you can't afford CBT right now.

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