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Body dysmorphia: Intrusive thoughts distract from life.

Permanent Linkby margharris on Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:57 pm

It was a tough weekend. My son experienced his first date in ten years. It went well even though he had moments of BDD intruding. It brought into focus the difference between being with someone who has a history with you to constantly criticise and someone who is keen to hear just anything about you. His trip home on the train became a nightmare as he started the comparing and the BDD thoughts took over. The emotion and the fear. He was screaming inside about how easy everyone must have it without BDD ruining their lives.
The euphoria of going on a date had been short lived. The doubts returned as soon as he was home. Had he made a good impression? But then the phone made that little familiar tingle. The texts started arriving. She was a texter. Maybe not much of a talker but a ‘Whats up/ whats on? Kind of girl. He is not used to this type of attention.
This put into focus the much needed paperwork for a divorce. Not knowing the exes address is a bit of an issue but it can be done. He became a basket case all yesterday. The emotion of having to deal with life was so obviously a trigger for an upping of body concerns. It was an extra anxiety that he hated to handle. His stories took over. Body hair and Dute causing loss, were all he could hear in his brain. I darkened the house by 6pm. No noise at all. We had taped an episode of “Better Call Saul.” But not a possibility.
This morning he was still off. Texted his ex to do the paperwork for a divorce and then changed his mind and said he would do it. About 6am it started. By 8am, he had two Valium, and one beta-blocker. His eyes are now wild looking. He is in angry mode ready to punch something. The emotions of grief have past the day before.
Donna, my supporter, has provided insight into how the unravelling of BDD will look in one of her emails to me. I include it below:

“There may be a lot of crying, as there will be a lot he will be facing in his unravelling. In order to find closure. This is not a painless journey, his healing. But he just needs to be reminded of the value in it! Priceless! Eliminating the cutting is one less thing he will find to beat himself up over. One less fleeting intrusive thought. He will gain strength in his own accomplishment. “

I have taken on board more of what Donna has shared regarding the emotional content of the thoughts. Rather than debate the logic, I am asking about the emotions they carry. So the thoughts have become the Sanjeev thoughts from Mumbai call centre and then I ask what emotions they carry. It is a shift away from focusing on the message but the fear behind it. The thoughts have never brought any closure or logic to work with. They are fear stories and that is what he needs to discover He is beating himself up with them and that diverts attention from his real life. Real life remains in the too hard to look at basket.

He just called out from his bedroom, his Dute to Fin story has arrived and he is in distress.
I call back, that ‘Sanjeev has got him hooked online.’
He could up sell him to a Fin story next. It is a bit of mocking but it is my sanity as well needing to vent.
He calls back telling me that I am saying it is all rubbish.

So I managed the intrusive thought attack without actually naming or debating the thought. I have classified them and so this should work for all future thought attacks. Sanjeev is going to be kept busy. I just have to keep myself ‘on message’ and not fall into his baiting game.

Hope we all can get a better understanding of the way out. Marg

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