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Kimothy

I think I may have BDD (Body Dismorphic Disorder)

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Ok, here is a close up pic of me that I snapped a few minutes ago:

http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l278/flu...rl26/me1256.jpg

Do you see anything that I may be concerned about? Anything off?

Well, when I look at this picture all I can see is the redness that is in the center of my upper lip. It's a section of it that looks almost like a patch, because the surrounding surface of the lip is lighter in color. I also have been worrying about the fact that my upper lip line looks a bit uneven, and jagged, although the camera does not show this. Now, when I say worrying, it's worse than that. Over the past couple weeks I have thought about these lip problems for at least a couple hours a day... I've cried multiple times over it and have felt that my face is now ruined compared to how it was before. I've skipped family functions and I've been anxious to be around others, remaining quiet and insecure. I feel nervous talking to others, believing that they can see my defect.

This all started when I purchased 40% Glycolic Acid. I have a red mark directly above my lip that I've been wanting to fade... so I put a bit of the acid on a q-tip and left it on the mark for about a minute. I then put a ph balancing solution on top and rinsed after a few more minutes. The next day I examined the area. The mark looked a little red, but suddenly I noticed that my lip line seemed uneven to me, and the center of my upper lip looked red. I was convinced that the acid caused this and I immediately started putting tons of Neosporin, Polysporin, chapsticks, moisturizers, anything I could think of to try to "heal" my lip. Nothing seemed to work and I started to become severely depressed. I spent 50 bucks at Walgreens on scar creams and another 20 for a fancy lip balm with vitamins in it. When I woke up each day, the first thing I did was look in the mirror to see if my lip was better, and it never was. At that point I considered my day to be ruined and I would sleep for another 8 hours. One day a few days ago I became so frustrated and upset that I considered taking a knife and carving my lip line evenly myself, so that it wouldn't look jagged anymore. Instead, I ended up squeezing my lips and brushing them vigorously with a toothbrush, in an attempt to possibly make them look any better. Unfortunately they did NOT look better after that and my symptoms only grew worse.....

I came upon a website about BDD...... and unfortuantely it seems to describe me to a tee:

* Frequent glancing in reflective surfaces (Check)

* Skin picking (Check)

* Avoiding mirrors (I strongly considered doing this to lessen my pain)

* Repeatedly measuring or palpating the defect (Check)

* Repeated requests for reassurance about the defect. (Check)

* Elaborate grooming rituals. (Check)

* Camouflaging some aspect of one's appearance with one's hand, a hat, or makeup. (I thought about wearing lots of lipstick to hide it... but couldn't stand the thought of not looking good naturally)

* Repeated touching of the defect (Check)

* Avoiding social situations where the defect might be seen by others. (Check)

* Anxiety when with other people. (Check)

That's it........ I answered yes to every single thing here. But does my problem really exist? I know it does, because I can SEE it... But then I started looking through past pictures of myself and I think these "problems" may have been in existence before my little experience with glycolic acid. It may be possible that after I used the acid, I examined my lip area so carefully that I convinced myself that all this happened as a result. In reality I'm not certain whether the acid has anything to do with it (I'm JUST now realizing that. Before today I was 100% convinced that I had ruined myself with the glycolic). Everyone else thinks I'm being waaaaay weird about the whole thing... I can't convince anyone that this is actually a serious problem for me.

Another thing the website said is that people with BDD will often consult dermatologists and plastic surgeons in an attempt to fix their problem, but these meetings rarely produce relief. It just so happens that I've set up an appointment with a dermatologist for next week.................... Isn't it ironic that my face used to look like this, covered in acne (cleared with Accutane), yet I still feel like this?

http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l278/flu...26/IMG_0460.jpg

It just never ends.

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Now alot of people are gonna come in here and tell you how pretty you are and you have nothing to worry about ect ect (which is all true; you are pretty hot <3).

However you wont believe us; its more important to keep your self belief - that you are some how "inferior" at the moment; focusing all your attention onto these "flaws" because once you have "fixed" them you think you will be happy as a kitten.

You need to see a therapist or buy a book on "Cognitive behavioral therapy".

There is nothing wrong with you at all and you will never acheive this perfection you are aiming towards - their is no such thing is perfection.

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Ya, that's the thing.... it doesn't matter what other people say... I've learned from experience that it doesn't work just to hear other people tell me it's all in my head and that I look fine. What I want is to actually BELIEVE it... and I don't know how to do that yet. I'm sort of caught in between thinking that I have legitimate cosmetic defect that deserves my concern and on the other hand, thinking that maybe I need to talk to a therapist or something..... But somehow I'm not sure how that would fix what I see as a physical issue. Lately I am smiling half as much because in addition to as this mess, I have a crack in my lip that isn't healing ......... Damn problems.

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1. you are beautiful, 2. your redness will heal, just leave it be. 3. I also have bdd. 4.Please get some professional help. 4. zoloft or antidepressents really changed my life. 5. you can have a great quality of life, keep searching for answers about this disease.

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The cure for BDD is the same for every single physocoligical disorder - information. You can get it either from a trained professional like a therapist or you can get it from books.

You have taken the most important step of recognising that you are thinking abnormally (which may sound cheesy). Now just finish the problem off and get on with your life.

If you want to go down the road of self help via books instead of therapy - I reccomend errrm (I think you are from the US) these below; I highly reccomend you vistit a BDD forum of sorts and find some more information there and maybe some suggestions for books aswell.

The BDD Workbook: Overcome Body Dysmorphic Disorder and End Body Image Obsessions (Paperback)

Link here

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook For Dummies (For Dummies (Psychology & Self Help)) (Paperback)

Link here

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Honestly, I'm still not convinced that I even have BDD (or is that something someone with BDD would say?... lol). Although.... I did suffer from an eating disorder for a couple years, so my body image and the need for control and "perfection" have always been a theme of my life. Furthermore, my brother suffers from OCD and is on medication......... that probably doesn't matter though. His problem is different than mine.... My biggest issue is feeling that I caused all this. Like, if I hadn't bought the glycolic acid and tried to fix things myself, I wouldn't be in this mess. My fear has been that the damage (if I did indeed cause damage) will not go away.... I'm still waiting for the redness to fade and I cannot tell if it was there before I used the acid. I keep looking at pictures of myself from before it happened and I'm not sure if I caused this, or if it was already there. The thought that it was my own fault is hardly bearable sometimes.

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Once you have solved this "mess" aka getting rid of your perceived imperfection what do you think is going to change?

Peoples perception of you? Your self esteem? What? Think about it. Nothing will change because you wont have changed anything.

Regarding this patch; cant see it in the picture (you have perfect skin in the picture) but I would advise to just leave it alone and let it heal.

If this is a self esteem thing; thinking people are looking at you and your imperfections read my post about "people not caring what you look like".

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I see absolutly nothing wrong with you. I'm JEALOUS of your skin. Your lips look fine, i see no redness or anything in your picture. The book "The Broken Mirror" helped me to understand the condition even more, I suggest reading it if you haven't already. It helped me alot!

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Like Nubby wrote, you know people are going to come in here to say nothing is wrong with you. You're going to have to accept what you look like on your own, or with the assistance of a professional. I think it's strange that you're looking for acceptance from strangers, yet when they give you acceptance, you immediately reject it.

Why don't you take the blame and move on? It sounds like you're going back and forth looking where to place the blame, and that's holding you back from accepting the way you look. Many of us have screwed up our skin at one point. The current state of your skin doesn't look like it will lead to permanent damage.

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Correction, I'm not looking for acceptance from strangers. What good would that do me? I come to this place to talk about problems just like anyone else does (especially on an acne website). I made this thread because I thought others might have the same problems with themselves, because after all, people who go to acne message boards are generally concerned about their physical appearance.... and that concern can manifest itself in many ways (including ways that aren't totally healthy).

I've been slowly accepting myself more (I no longer wake up and go straight back to sleep, and I've stopped the daily crying). Now I'm working on being able to step away from the mirror and forget about it. It's a process......

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This is a good thread. I have BDD and have been battling it since I was 15. We are more prone to eating disorders, of which I have. People tell me all the time that I am really thin but I see fat when I look in the mirror. I am a level headed and reasonable person and even those qualities can't help me. The fact that I have acne and deep scarring on my face doesn't help. Thank you to all of you that recommended books! I have found that medication like Prozac did help me psychologically but I also suffered a horrible cystic breakout (hormones from the meds maybe?) because of it. Double edged sword. :doh:

BTW, your skin looks flawless.

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Do you see anything that I may be concerned about? Anything off?

Okay. I stand corrected. You're asking if there is something you should be concerned about. But you're asking me, and the rest of the members, for our opinions regarding your physical appearance. We answered that there is nothing wrong with you, and some members even said you were hot or pretty. You seem unable to accept a compliment, judging by the fact that you chose to ignore those compliments.

I understand why people visit this forum. How have you slowly started to accept yourself? What methods are you using to prevent you from waking up and going back to sleep? I know it's a process, and nobody is trying to rush you. I think we're trying to challenge your thoughts to the best of our ability, and if I'm correct, the tone of your post sounded like someone who was offended at what I wrote, and I apologize for that.

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I guess I need therapy, because this is seriously taking over my life! Today I probably thought about my lips for a few hours at least... My imperfection feels like its huge even though I know it's small. I keep thinking people notice it when they look at me. Right now I'm mainly concerned about a tiny dot right above my lip. I went to my derm yesterday and he told me I shouldn't obsess over small things, because treatment will often make them worse. This "dot" that I'm speaking of looks like a tiny broken capillary. It IS very tiny, but it wasn't always here.... and I notice it every time I look in the mirror. I feel crazy, really I do.... I'm constantly checking mirrors and keep a hand held one around constantly. I NEED to get over this (if possible).

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its exactly like nubby said

we can all tell you there is nothing wrong with you, but you wont believe it.

i can only say its clearly a self esteem thing - there is nothing wrong with you in my opninion, now the only one who needs to change her opinion is you.

try to accept yourself for who you are, if you cant, we propably cant either, and then you should seek professional help.

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Hi there Kimothy. Be strong I'm sure you'll get through and overcome this. I think I may also be showing signs of BDD.Now more than ever before. In the past I could cope with having skin issues. I'm not brave enough to post pics of myself to show you guys. I struggle to react humanly when given a complement :cry: , lol. Its like I don't have a reaction, and think how can someone be so nice to me, my face is a mess. I have such issues. ;)

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Hey all.... I thought about this thread, even though it's so old. Because this is where it all started for me. It is now 2011, and I have not gotten over this problem. I still examine/cry over my lips. What's worse is that a few months after making this post I developed a tingling/twitching type thing in my lip area, right around where I put the glycolic acid. That has not gone away in two years, as well as the "tiny red dot". I look back and I realize I went mad.. The "red marks" above my skin were actually broken capillaries (mild ones, so they just looked like slight redness at first). Being a perfectionist, I wanted to fade them so I bought the glycolic acid and put it on there. The next day I woke up and saw the "red dot"... Went crazy over it... severe depression after it wouldnt go away. So one day I looked in the mirror and I felt hideous. Not only was I focused on this "red dot" but any other "imperfections" seemed to become magnified. I was convinced that the center of my lip looked red and uneven in color compared to the rest of my lip. Later on I realized that this is very normal... Human lips normally look slightly darker in the center. I was convinced mine looked harsh though and that there looked to be a line separating the dark color from the lighter color.... I still notice that today, but I think it only looks that way to me in certain lighting and NOW I realize it was normal. At the time I thought to myself, "Maybe the glycolic acid didn't cause the red dot... maybe it was there already, and I can still use it to get rid of it, plus this other defect!". So I put the glycolic acid on the red dot area and on the "lip redness". Unfortunately the red dot did not go away and I hurt my lip from putting glycolic acid on it (you're not supposed to put any kind of acid on your lips....). And that injury didn't heal for days (it stung whenever I touched it).

Now that I deal with the tingling/twitching problem it makes me feel even more that I ruined myself. As though if I had never used the glycolic acid then I would not be this way. I have urges to see a dermatologist to see if they can laser off the red dot, but I fear something going wrong and it looking worse afterward, and so far that has kept me from going through with it. I may be going too far with my anxiety over the way it looks, but the physical problem IS real, and the fact that I think I caused it IS real...... It drives me mad and makes me never forgive myself for using the glycolic stuff...

Edited by Kimothy

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If you think you have BDD, get therapy. CBT or DBT. Cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavioral therapy. That's what will help, not getting affirmations from strangers on this website.

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I once heard a rap song that went something along the lines of "Be happy that your biggest worry is acne" or something. It probably wasn't acne but that's how I interpreted it. I know it sucks, but please try and work on it and be thankful that it's not something much less trivial.

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