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dinks616

Body Dysmorphia

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Curious how many people on the forum have if.

What impact does it have on your own life?

How do you deal with it?

When does it impact you the most?

 

I think all bodybuilders have an element of not being satisfied with their bodies, but that is not exactly body dysmorphia.  People will tell me that I am too muscular or I am getting too big, but I don't think that I am big enough.  If that is body dysmorphia it is a positive motivator to pursue gains. 

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Body dysmorphia: [medical definition by the Mayo Clinic:  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/body-dysmorphic-disorder/basics/definition/con-20029953 ]

Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of chronic mental illness in which you can't stop thinking about a flaw in your appearance — a flaw that is either minor or imagined. But to you, your appearance seems so shameful that you don't want to be seen by anyone.

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. Body dysmorphic disorder is also known as dysmorphophobia, the fear of having a deformity.

Treatment of body dysmorphic disorder may include medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Signs and symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder include:

  • Preoccupation with your physical appearance with extreme self-consciousness
  • Frequent examination of yourself in the mirror, or the opposite, avoidance of mirrors altogether
  • Strong belief that you have an abnormality or defect in your appearance that makes you ugly
  • Belief that others take special notice of your appearance in a negative way
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Feeling the need to stay housebound
  • The need to seek reassurance about your appearance from others
  • Frequent cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction
  • Excessive grooming, such as hair plucking or skin picking, or excessive exercise in an unsuccessful effort to improve the flaw
  • The need to grow a beard or wear excessive makeup or clothing to camouflage perceived flaws
  • Comparison of your appearance with that of others
  • Reluctance to appear in pictures

You may obsess over any part of your body, and the body feature you focus on may change over time. But common features people may obsess about include:

  • Face, such as nose, complexion, wrinkles, acne and other blemishes
  • Hair, such as appearance, thinning and baldness
  • Skin and vein appearance
  • Breast size
  • Muscle size and tone
  • Genitalia

You may be so convinced about your perceived flaws that you imagine something negative about your body that's not true, no matter how much someone tries to convince you otherwise. Concern over and thinking about the perceived flaw can dominate your life, leading to absence from work, school or social situations due to extreme self-consciousness.

When to see a doctor

Shame and embarrassment about your appearance may keep you from seeking treatment for body dysmorphic disorder. But if you have any signs or symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder, see your doctor, mental health provider or other health professional. Body dysmorphic disorder usually doesn't get better on its own, and if untreated, it may get worse over time and lead to suicidal thoughts and behavior.

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Body dysmorphia: [medical definition by the Mayo Clinic:  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/body-dysmorphic-disorder/basics/definition/con-20029953 ]

Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of chronic mental illness in which you can't stop thinking about a flaw in your appearance — a flaw that is either minor or imagined. But to you, your appearance seems so shameful that you don't want to be seen by anyone.

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. Body dysmorphic disorder is also known as dysmorphophobia, the fear of having a deformity.

Treatment of body dysmorphic disorder may include medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Signs and symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder include:

  • Preoccupation with your physical appearance with extreme self-consciousness
  • Frequent examination of yourself in the mirror, or the opposite, avoidance of mirrors altogether
  • Strong belief that you have an abnormality or defect in your appearance that makes you ugly
  • Belief that others take special notice of your appearance in a negative way
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Feeling the need to stay housebound
  • The need to seek reassurance about your appearance from others
  • Frequent cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction
  • Excessive grooming, such as hair plucking or skin picking, or excessive exercise in an unsuccessful effort to improve the flaw
  • The need to grow a beard or wear excessive makeup or clothing to camouflage perceived flaws
  • Comparison of your appearance with that of others
  • Reluctance to appear in pictures

You may obsess over any part of your body, and the body feature you focus on may change over time. But common features people may obsess about include:

  • Face, such as nose, complexion, wrinkles, acne and other blemishes
  • Hair, such as appearance, thinning and baldness
  • Skin and vein appearance
  • Breast size
  • Muscle size and tone
  • Genitalia

You may be so convinced about your perceived flaws that you imagine something negative about your body that's not true, no matter how much someone tries to convince you otherwise. Concern over and thinking about the perceived flaw can dominate your life, leading to absence from work, school or social situations due to extreme self-consciousness.

When to see a doctor

Shame and embarrassment about your appearance may keep you from seeking treatment for body dysmorphic disorder. But if you have any signs or symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder, see your doctor, mental health provider or other health professional. Body dysmorphic disorder usually doesn't get better on its own, and if untreated, it may get worse over time and lead to suicidal thoughts and behavior.

 

Sadly I do feel I suffer from some of those signs and symptoms, but I'm not sure if it's body dysmorphia or just an extreme lack of self-confidence and self-esteem from being so fat for 30 yrs.  Maybe being fat as I was caused the dysmorphia when I started losing it all.  I still have days that I feel like a fat tub even though that may or may not be the case, depending on your frame of reference.  I've basically gone from being delusional and in denial about how fat I actually was to some version of dysmorphia.

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I feel the same way as Baz, except from the opposite stance. Having been skinny my whole life and suffering from it as a child (bullying and such), I often still see myself as not big enough even though others will tell me otherwise. I don't believe I have a full blown case of this "disorder" but at least a portion of it, if that's possible. I'm sure most of u have seen that old picture of the bber looking into a mirror and seeing his reflection as a skinny guy. That's kind of what I see but maybe not so drastic. I'm working on this and as I continue to grow, it seems to lessen a bit. Hopefully it will completely go away once I reach my final body goals.

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Bazorba, Flmuscle.. sounds to me like you have body issues not a disorder. I saw a documentary on Body Dysmorphic Disorder. One guy couldn't even touch his belly because it was so huge and swollen to him but in reality it looked slim to everyone else. You don't sound even close to that! :)

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I have a complicated history with my self-image. I've always wanted to be like the mass monsters of the Olympia, but how badly I have obsessed over getting there has varied. At first, I took it slow and steady, thinking that was enough. I saw some progress, so I assumed I was doing it right. After a few years, I realized I needed to up my game, and that is where my dysmorphia kicked in. It didn't cripple my life, but I became obsessed with working out. I still am obsessed with it, but if I can't work out, I accept it and work out when I can. It still does rule my life, but only insofar as it does for most bodybuilders: we live the life, but it's our passion, not our obsession.

 

I still see some flaws in my appearance, but I just work to change them; I don't agonize over them, I calmly and meticulously sculpt them away. It's sometimes difficult to differentiate intense passion from obsession, and I think that's why so many people think bodybuilders have body dysmorphia.

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"I still see some flaws in my appearance, but I just work to change them; I don't agonize over them, I calmly and meticulously sculpt them away. It's sometimes difficult to differentiate intense passion from obsession, and I think that's why so many people think bodybuilders have body dysmorphia."

 

 

I feel the same way, and I don't work out nearly as much as I want to, or should, to make really significant gains in a short time. I find that people in general get "weird" when they hear a guy acknowledge that he wants to work on his appearance to become more muscular or better looking.  They can understand when you say, "I want to drop a few pounds," or " I want to  tone up," but they never understand when a guy says "I like muscles and am working to make my own bigger and stronger."  Totally freaks them out - they figure you're a teenager, "sick in the head" a narcissist or "obsessed."

 

I try not to let it bother me and just do my workouts.

 

Mdlftr

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Personally, I find that part of the problem with things like this is that people view such things as black and white when nothing in life is. Articles like the one above and entries in the DSM are highly informative. But people read through them like a checklist. "Oh, I don't have all of the symptoms listed, so I don't have that condition." Which is essentially the brain's way of saying, "I'm safe. I'm normal. I don't have to worry about being judged now." The truth is that some people might have just one of the symptoms listed to an extreme case while others have a very small amount of all of them. Life is experienced in spectrum, not absolutes. The point I'd like to make here is that having or not having this, or any other, condition is not the issue. The issue is how much it affects your quality of life. If you are capable of living your life with relative ease managing your issues then go ahead without worrying about labels. If you are not, then seek the professional help necessary. There should be no stigma. A professional is simply a tool to help a person live with quality and ease.

In regards to the original questions asked I'd like to share my personal experience. Yes I have the condition. However, it affects me in multiple ways which makes it more complex. Additionally, I have Dissociative Identity Disorder which adds even more complexity since some of my Alts are manifestations of the disorder rather than the more standard experience of having an identity with the condition. So instead of having an Alt that has BDD, I fully acknowledge that I, the host, have the condition. But some of my Alts are the "physical" manifestations of the symptoms. The overall impact of my condition is that it can be quite difficult at times. But somehow I'm able to manage enough to keep going.

As for how I deal with it, I manage the best way I can. When an episode hits I just let it play out. I'm very fortunate that with my DID I'm able to achieve something known as co-fronting. This enables me to function mentally as my true self while interacting with my Alts simultaneously. You wouldn't be able to tell I have the condition at all if I didn't tell you most likely.

As for when I'm impacted the most it would definitely be when I'm here on the forum reading stories. This place is a major trigger for me. But I come here willingly. If it ever became a debilitating issue I would stop and/or seek the necessary aid.

A newly developing issue I may be having as well is that I think my BDD Alts would like to try communicating on this forum. This isn't entirely uncommon as many people with DID find keeping a journal where all identities can communicate quite helpful. On the one hand, I think that allowing them to join the community here might help them feel accepted. This can in the long run potentially help them to reintegrate (essentially, disappear). But the reverse is also true. So if they don't gain acceptance it might do more harm than good. Don't worry, I have no intention of letting any of my Alts run amuck here any time soon. It's just something I thought I'd share in case people were interested. Anyway, that's my piece for this post for now. I hope it was helpful in some way.

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Had it during university, luckily i knew i had a problem and went for help straight away. I still have image issues, but i guess everyone goes through rough patches 

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