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I recently had a psychiatric evaluation and was diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder. It's been in my life since I was about 11-years-old. I've shifted my focus a million times to various parts of my body, and for the past year, acne has been that focus. My skin has essentially always looked the same, and I know I don't have SEVERE acne, and when I was a teen my acne didn't bother me so much (I mean, it did, and I still spent hours trying to "get rid of" it, but I suppose since I spent the majority of my high school years enmeshed in an eating disorder, it was rarely the first thing on my mind). Anyway, since I got the diagnosis, whenever I go to talk about my concerns about my skin with my family (which I RARELY do because I know it bothers them), they brush it off and say, "you have BDD, not acne. You don't need any new products, it's in your head." And it's getting to the point that I honestly feel like SCREAMING because although I know I magnify my flaws and see them a lot differently than the rest of the world does, I am not DELUSIONAL. Just because something isn't HUGE doesn't mean it isn't THERE. I avoid leaving the house because I have panic attacks every time I do - this has happened ever since I was 11, and it's always been due to thinking people are looking at me, and no matter how many times I try to rationally tell myself that that's crazy, the panic attacks still happen - and my parents are EXTREMELY insensitive about it. They are constantly telling me that I need to get out more and making remarks about it and they don't seem to understand the way I actually feel when I'm in public. I'm a student so obviously I go out regularly enough that it isn't a phobia or anything, and I try REALLY hard to push myself to be around people without freaking out, but it's difficult and I don't know how to get my parents to stop commenting about it so rudely as if I'm some sort of recluse just because I'm not outside 24/7 and feeling like my heart is going to jump out of my chest because of it. I just don't know what I can say to people to make them understand it any better. My mother talked to the psychiatrist, she knows my diagnosis, she knows what it does to me, and it hasn't made her any more sensitive about it. Her comments make me feel worse because I always hear "you need to get out more" as "you're lazy". While I'm at home I'm always exercising because being lazy is one of my biggest fears. I just can't stand to hear things that reinforce that all the time. I know that I should challenge myself more, but I pressure myself enough. I don't know how to get my parents to stop adding to that. I know that their intentions are kind, but intentions and impacts are very different things, and no matter how many times I've told my mother "don't say things like that to me, it makes it worse", she keeps doing it. She probably thinks that pushing me is the way to go, she always has, but no one in the world could push me more than I push myself and when other people try to I just feel like I want to run away or crawl into a hole and hide for the rest of my life. I don't know. I'm sorry this was so long. I guess my question is does anyone know of anything I could say to my parents - my mother in particular - to make them understand that constantly nagging me in an insulting fashion isn't the way to help me overcome my fears? And has anyone else on this board been diagnosed with BDD?

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I could be wrong, but maybe you would benefit from talking to a psychologist or someone who specailizes in behavior and BDD.

And in regards with your parents, explain that this is a Disorder, not just a choice to nitpick yourself, and that constant criticism just exacerbates the problem.

I wish you the best of luck. I'm incredibly sensitive about my physical appearance, almost to the point that every flaw is more noticable than it really is, but I'm working on it by just going out with friends, seeing my boyfriend and avoiding mirrors. And I excessively reapply makeup throughtout the day, which I need to stop... Its hard to see yourself in a positive light, which is where encouraging words from friends and family come into play.

You are not alone. And while your parents are going about this the wrong way, time outside is very theraputic, and sunshine is crucial, no matter how hard it is to want to go outside and face the world. (we've ALL been there, its hard as hell) I hope you feel better!

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I've been suffering from BMD for years now and it's lead to a huge inferiority complex. I, too, go out but it seems like I suffer so much when I try to engage in lasting relationships - or attempt to. Often I find myself not capable of believing that people are interested in me, etc. I think I look like an ogre and I avoid letting anyone look at me too long. It's terrible. I am never happy with my face, my weight, etc. I am so insecure it's painful to anyone that knows me. I don't know exactly how to beat it. I have the same problems with my parents as well. All I can say is that maybe voicing your opinion a bit more forcefully and actually showing the sincere emotions that go with that might help them realize that they are actually making the situation worse.

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Odd, I felt the same way about my acne until it actually got severe. I am the same way when it comes to going out places, I try to excercise, not because I am lazy(even though I am:p), but it is always good to improve qualities about yourself, helps you think less about your acne.

Sadly, I try but I can't excercise for extended amounts of times, though I have the potential to I have horrible joints in my knees and my elbows that make it impossible to do more than 50 or so pushups in a row, or a 1 mile jog, I have many diseases:(.

Lifes NOT fair:(

Edited by Lifes NOT fair :(
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Odd, I felt the same way about my acne until it actually got severe. I am the same way when it comes to going out places, I try to excercise, not because I am lazy(even though I am:p), but it is always good to improve qualities about yourself, helps you think less about your acne.

Sadly, I try but I can't excercise for extended amounts of times, though I have the potential to I have horrible joints in my knees and my elbows that make it impossible to do more than 50 or so pushups in a row, or a 1 mile jog, I have many diseases:(.

Lifes NOT fair:(

I hate joint pain (not sure how severe yours is) but I get it a lot especially when running. I can run for awhile though because I'm a cross country runner. Despite stomach pains of candida + random joint pains and shin splits I've still been running. I'm pretty lazy but I don't really know if that's actually me..candida has morphed my entire life. I'm always fatigued and cold. I had to deal with gaining weight and then wasting my time working it all off because I have problems with being obsessed with my image. I figured I was in the pre-stages of an eating disorder at times but then I realized it was just related to this infection. I'm never confident with the way I look but see I don't magnify my flaws...they're just bit flaws in general. I figured I may have developed some sort of psychological disorder because of all this but nothing seems to add up. I keep feeling like this will all pass but it doesn't. I hate having acne but it hardly is my main focus anymore since I don't go out much. Everyone else's symptoms of this disorder seem severe (panic attacks, etc). I never get any of that but I can say being obsessed with my image has ruled my life. For some reason I'm afraid to show my flaws to my closest friends but yet it doesn't matter with strangers? I know they could judge me but I try not to think of it that way. I think I'm paranoid because the closest people to me were always the people who brought me down. My parents never nag me about not going out because I don't think they care. My mom has her own psychological problems and my Dad is just ignorant of everything. I always say I can't have an eating disorder of BDD compared to the symptoms of other people but being self-conscious rules my life and it's just about all I think about 24/7 so I really don't know.

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Parts of that sounded like I was writing it, just want you to know you're not alone.

I highly recommend a therapist. Not only can counseling help you to heal your own mind, but counselors can often act as mediators between you and your less-than-understanding family members. If they won't listen to you they just might listen to a professional. That's how I got my parents to come around.

I wish you the best of luck, we all know how painful the emotions are.

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