Body Dysmorphia or BBD Why Do You Think You Are Ugly?
Body Dysmorphic Disorder or BDD, is a distorted view of our bodies caused by anxiety. In other words what we see in the mirror is not actually how we look. We all have the condition to a certain degree, maybe not to an extreme, but how many of us do look in the mirror and like what we see?
If you ask a woman, lets face it its mainly women who are always comparing themselves to someone else who is more pretty or successful, most of them are unhappy about a certain part of their body.
I know the feeling purely because of what happened to me when I was young. I never really thought about the way I looked, but because of constant bullying at school I ended up thinking I was the most ugly girl on the planet.
Why else would they be bullying me? I must have something wrong with my appearance otherwise I would fit in with the popular girls.
Of course now, many years later I realise that actually it was a personality trait that was 'wrong'.
I say wrong, because I did one thing that they all hated. I never bitched. I couldn't be nasty to anybody, and that's what they picked up on. The actual physical look had nothing to do with it. The trouble is, even though I knew that was the problem, it didn't stop me from feeling inadequate.
Many people grow out of this state of mind, and even though we moan about our appearance secretly we are quite pleased with the way we look.
I know that as I grew older I became obsessed with my looks. If anybody saw me looking in a mirror they would think I was being vain or big headed. But this wasn't the case.
I was terrified of being too ugly.
Strangely enough I was fine after leaving school. I dated and had fun.
But underneath all that I still felt inadequate. In fact the bullying and the mental strain made me choose the first man who asked me to marry him, whether he was suitable or not.
In plain English i was frightened to death of being left alone because of my looks.
Over the years I have always 'presumed' that my faults were down to how my face looked. I never felt confident.
Now you know what it is have you ever suffered with Body Dysmorphia?
The one thing we all have to face is that as we get older, our looks start to go. So you can imagine how I felt looking in the mirror and seeing an older face.
Mind you I now realise that my body dysmorphia is purely in my mind. Its my personality that has got me where I am today. For good and for bad.
But what about those people who really see a distorted view of themselves? I recently came across the story of Rina Nanase, better known as a Japanese adult movie star named Rumi Kanda.
Her total transformation is not only startling but downright strange. In my opinion she is seeing herself in such a distorted way that the end result is now she believes she is perfect.
I for one feel that the surgeon who performed the operation should be sued. He should have noticed that her bizarre look was caused by body dysmorphia.
I am no expert of course, but I see the signs. She has thrown herself into the type of work that tells me she feels so ugly she has to prove herself.
This is not the only type of body dysmorphia. There are many people, mainly women who actually see themselves in a different way to how we see them. It can be a facial disfigurement or the size and shape of their bodies.
Anorexics see themselves as larger or really fat, when in fact they are normal size or very skinny to the point of emaciation. Others will see just a part of their body that they feel is grossly misshapen or too large. We often wonder why people have breast implants that are so huge they totally distort the body.
A lot of the time its because they believe a bigger bust will make them more attractive. But sometimes it really is a case of what they see isn't what they really look like.
In other words they have body Dysmorphia.
Jocelyn Wildenstein is well known for her extensive facial surgery to 'correct' her looks. The way she sees herself is a reflection of how her mind is distorting the images that she sees in the mirror. The more she changed her face by plastic surgery the more bizarre the outcome as you can see by her photos.
Her surgery was said to cost in excess of $4,000,000! She said that she had the surgery done because her husband liked her to have a cat like appearance. She is said to be happy with the result. She may have done this partially to please her husband at the time, but I believe she must have been unhappy with her looks to do something as dramatic as this.
Danny hails from Anwick in Northumberland England. Following his own personal experiences of Body Dysmorphia or BBD as its known, he is now raising awareness to help young people understand and come to terms why they start to experience this mental problem.
After watching his video I couldn't believe how such a nice looking lad could come to the conclusion that he was ugly. It just goes to show how our minds can play tricks on us.
So what is Body Dysmorphia?
The disorder is said to affect more women than men, and approximately 1 per cent of the UK population suffer with it. It can affect all age groups, but it mainly starts in the teens when our bodies are changing shape, and our minds can be manipulated by other peoples opinions of us. The majority of sufferers tend to be people who are prone to depression, or social phobias.
In other words the more inadequate you feel or if you suffer with low esteem the more likely you are to develop the syndrome. Over the years you will center on one particular part of the body which takes on a real phobia which can then result in body dysmorphia.
Plastic surgery can help, as long as its done by a sensitive surgeon who can tell the difference between a patient being genuinely upset by a large nose for example and someone with a mental disorder. All patients should go through a rigorous psychological exam before surgery.
As you can see, it doesn't always work out that way. Many surgeons will do the work without thought of why or how this person has come to the decision.
Mirror Mirror Leave Me Alone.
The one thing that people with body dysmorphia do wrong is look in the mirror. Constantly. This is totally the wrong thing to do. Why?
If we spend hours analysing how we look, our faces start to look different. It's a bit like when we see someone we know, but because they are 'out of place' for example not working in the shop we go to, or on the train, we start to look at different features such as their eyes, or mouth.
This can influence or affect the way our brains see those people. And they become distorted.
And that's what happens to us when we look at our own faces for too long. We pull our features to pieces.
The other thing you have to remember is that when we look in a mirror, we are in fact seeing our reflection back to front. In other words we know that the left side is actually the right side and vice versa, and our minds can get confused.
By looking at a photo of ourselves we then see the real 'us'. This can lead to our minds believing that actually we keep changing, and therefore we are ugly.
There are some cases where the person believes they are so ugly they have actually tried to take their own lives, or have disfigured themselves to try to improve their appearance.
Well I am happy with the way I look now. I was never that bad in the first place. But I am aware that I spent many years being scared of how I looked.
If someone looked at me for longer than a few seconds I would believe that there was something wrong with me. Was my face dirty? Did I look ugly? And so on. And yes, I still do it sometimes. Especially if I am feeling slightly vulnerable or unhappy.
I know its affected my relationships in the past. I am also aware that the reason why I got married in the first place was because I thought I wasn't good enough for someone better. We all learn as we go. The bullying at school definitely started it off with me. They called me ugly. So I believed I was. Simple as that.
Has it affected my life? Of course. I never felt I was good enough. Was it body dysmorphia? I believe it was to a certain extent.
Now I am happy with my looks. But when I feel depressed or unsure, I start to see myself ugly again. But I am aware that its all in my mind.
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© 2014 Nell Rose