I just wanted to post a few quotes from different sources about the typical symptoms of this disorder. When I first started to wonder if I had a disorder, these helped pull me out of my near delusional state.
"Major symptom of BDD is a tormenting doubt; the underlying question related to uncertainty about ones body part, or appearance. It is important to mention that symptoms can shift from concern about one aspect of appearance to another at any time."
"It is not uncommon for people suffering from BDD to perceive their own image so distorted, while they may be able to appraise appropriately accurate appearances of others, at the same time they fail to objectively appraise appearance of self. What people with BDD perceive is actually similar to the reflection we have all seen in a distorted carnival fun-house mirror"
"The distress caused by this fixation can lead to compulsive behaviors such as repeated questioning and seeking reassurance, endless matching of the clothing, social withdrawal, impairments or nonexistence of interpersonal intimate relationships, inability to tolerate social situations, constant checking for physical imperfections through touching, testing for bumps, feeling for symmetry, searching for flaws, skin picking, measuring the waste line, noses, counting hairs that fell out, etc."
"When concern with ones appearance interferes with social/occupational performance it may be a symptom of BDD. Simply put, if a persons appearance becomes the center of their focus and they can no longer maintain a healthy perspective on life it becomes an unhealthy obsession"
"People with BDD misperceive what they see. There is misinterpretation and distortion in what is the actual flaw."
"People with BDD certainly do experience extreme self-consciousness. It sometimes becomes evident begins avoiding social situations, and not wanting others to see them. BDD leads people to sense that other people are criticizing their perceived imperfections. Around others, they get the feeling of being scrutinized under magnifying glass. As these fixations intensify the belief that people are looking at the perceived "defects" seems rational. Other's actions are interpreted in reference to the particular "flaw" and it seems that people are starring, laughing, and discussing them behind their backs."
"People with BDD believe that some aspect of their appearance is not perfect. They spend endless amounts of time and a lot of effort trying to perfect that particular aspect of appearance. If their "area of concern" is not perfect [it never is], they are reluctant to leave the house or continue with the daily activities. It is not only that they know that they are not perfect, but also they believe that they will be highly scrutinized by others (watched under magnifying glass)"
"The three most common areas of which those suffering from BDD will feel critical have to do with the face: the hair, the skin, and the nose. Outside opinion will typically disagree and may protest that there even is a defect. The defect exists in the eyes of the beholder, and one with BDD really does feel as if they see something there that is defective."
"Body dysmorphic disorder causes sufferers to believe that they are so unspeakably hideous that they are unable to interact with others or function normally for fear of ridicule and humiliation about their appearance."
"They feel too embarrassed and unwilling to accept that others will tell the sufferer that he or she is suffering from a disorder"
"The sufferer believes that fixing the "deformity" is the only goal, and that if there is a disorder, it was caused by the deformity. In extreme cases, patients report that they would rather suffer from their symptoms than be 'convinced' into believing that they have no deformity."
"Studies have found that Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has proven effective. In a study of 54 BDD patients who were randomly assigned to Cognitive Behavior Therapy or no treatment, BDD symptoms decreased significantly in those patients undergoing CBT. BDD was eliminated in 82% of cases at post treatment and 77% at follow-up. Due to believed low levels of serotonin in the brain, another commonly used treatment is SSRI drugs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor). 74 subjects were enrolled in a placebo-controlled study group to evaluate the efficiency of fluoxetine hydrochloride (Prozac); patients were enrolled in a 12-weeks, double-blind, randomized study. At the end of treatment, 53% of patients responded to the fluoxetine."
"BDD usually appears during early adolescence, and, when left untreated, is often a chronic condition."
"BDD patients may process faces in a piecemeal manner, while healthy controls’ perception of faces may be more conﬁgural and holistic. These laterality patterns in the BDD participants suggest a bias for local, or detail oriented, processing of faces over global processing.”
"Patients’ thoughts associated with the perceived defect in their physical appearance may actually represent such a distortion of reality that their belief is delusional...the nondelusional patient displays little or no insight. For a brief time they may admit that they might be wrong about their preoccupation."
"At one time or another we all worry about our appearance, but when you wake up degrading your nose, hair, chest, WEIGHT, etc. and then continuing to have these thoughts all day, that's when there is a problem."
"The problem, though, is that all of these self-degrading thoughts about a perceived flaw are distorted. Many, many times the supposed flaw doesn't even exist, or an "imperfect" body part is blown entirely out of proportion. However, the person themselves cannot see that what they believe is distorted. Many hold the belief that they are seeing all of this, therefore it MUST be true.Nothing is good enough because the person cannot see that what they have done is absolutely fine"