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Body dysmorphia. Hope finding the wayout.

Permanent Linkby margharris on Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:23 am

There is a lot to understand in body dysmorphia. On the surface it seems like a simple obsession, an exaggerated concern about body image that might readily be removed with a bit of reassurance. But this is not the experience of someone in the grips of BDD. The dimensions are far more than what is conveyed by the definition. So far the cure seems to be medically unreachable given our current understanding. This blog attempts to track our journey in search of the cure or at least a manageable life free of distressing symptoms.

Over the course of this blog I might mention our history as I care for my son through this journey but it is not my intention to start from the beginning. Where we are now is the compelling story for me to write as I am through the defining of the illness and seek the path out.

So lets consider an underlying biochemical fault and how it manifests..

Where is the threat? There is a sense of worry in the makeup of a BDDer and OCDer. That worry might first have been noticed as a small child confronted with the cracks in the pavement. Somehow the desire to step on the cracks or miss the cracks had greater meaning. If a crack was missed the desire to go back to get it right was too powerful to just simply ignore. Now most of us as small children did play with the cracks at times but a child with an OCD substrate plays with a lot greater intensity. The emotions become engaged.
It is the same with any small responsibility. The light was switched off but a moment later a worry was felt. A story followed quickly to explain the sensation. Perhaps you left it on. Better check to get it right. If you turned the tap off, a moment later you might have felt a worry that you didnt get it right. The worrying anxiety was felt and the story explained your concerning need to check.
Perhaps you had to clean your room. But just as you finished you might have felt that worrying doubt. Did you do enough to get it right? So you went back to clean some more. You might have been very worried over a piece of paper you had been given. Was it important? Should you keep it? There was this worrying doubt so just to be safe you decided it had to be kept.
It is this very simple worry linked to being responsible and accountable that was first felt as an unwelcome sensation and quickly explained by doubting your own performance. This habit of your brain led to your first need to check. And you have been checking ever since.

But there never was anything wrong with you or your performance. Your brain was wired in such a way as to create this worry on whatever you focused on. It is still doing that today as you struggle with BDD. The threat is coming from your own brain as it creates feelings and stories that try to explain why you feel what you feel.

Hopeful we can see our way out of this habit. I do believe it is possible. Marg

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