Sorry it has been a bit of a while…..A-Levels and generally life has been in full force as of late and therefore, there has not been as much time as I would have liked to be able to blog. However, I am back in full swing, my darlings!
To many of you, you will be probably surprised by this post because you know me and yet I have never spoken about this before to anyone apart from my therapist.This post is to not only raise awareness for this disorder, but also to help people understand that this can affect anyone in all walks of life and you should not be embarrassed to speak about it and ask for support. (Before I go into detail, I just need to say that I have put links at the bottom of this post with sites to visit for support or more information about BDD, as well as Muscle Dysmorphia, which is another type of this disorder). 🙂
To those who do not know what it is is, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a type of anxiety disorder that makes a person have a distorted view of what they look like and therefore spend a lot of time worrying about their appearance.It effects a similar amount of men and women and it is horrible, as the thoughts are very stressful and do not disappear.These thoughts can also have a significant affect on people’s lives.
Body Dysmorphia is something that has certainly reared its head in the past two years or so and in my personal experience, it came full force after my generalised anxiety and social anxiety worsened. I was diagnosed with BDD late last year. Now, I have always been a girl who has been really shy and quite insecure about her appearance and in all aspects of life to be quite honest. However, when my anxiety became worse, so did my insecurity as I spiraled into the void of perfection in my life; I found and still do find perfectionism as a coping mechanism for my anxiety disorders- I feel it allows me to take back some control.
As my perfectionism became stronger as I entered my mid teens, so did my insecurity issues about my appearance, as I was always picking out flaws and wanting to fix them. Even if I had one spot on my face, I would spend ages picking at it to try and make it go away. I would never leave the house without wearing very heavy make up because I believed I looked awful and not pretty or attractive, compared to the rest of the girls that I knew; something which I still feel, but not to such a severe extent. I also was constantly fussing about my height, as I am a tiny 5ft 1′ lass and I absolutely hated being so small because I was under the impression that I was abnormal, compared to others- Comparing yourself to others is a large symptom of this disorder if you had not already guessed….
At one point, I was constantly exercising to try and ‘fix’ several flaws that I saw on my body, which to others were extremely minor details which other people would not be bothered about. I was constantly looking for reassurance from others about my appearance and that I looked okay to go out in public. Even now, I have great difficulty in believing people if they say that I look nice or pretty etc. I am working on it slowly, but surely though!
I still have days when the thoughts are in full swing, but I now have more days where I feel quite confident in my skin and these thoughts do not bother me as much. I still have a way to go with building my confidence in myself and beating body dsymorphia once and for all, but I have come extremely far and that will continue to improve with support from other people and continuing to face my anxiety issues through therapy and bravery.
Anyway, that was a pretty difficult blog post for me to write, but I felt that it needed to be done for not only therapy for myself, but also a message to other people that you’re not alone and there is help available! I have no issue with anyone messaging me to speak about this further.