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Body dysmorphia: Mindfulness and Passivity.

Permanent Linkby margharris on Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:44 am

Body dysmorphia: Mindfulness and Passivity. Where is your mind going?
The Doc appointment was a mixed event. Still very much a positive but a glimmer of doubts came too. He offers no magic bullet. The TMS will take a minimum of 6 weeks to organize. He doesn’t offer it privately as it is purely experimental. We are to increase Prozac to 30mg and commence Lyrica. Lyrica is for the agitation and apathy. A mood stabilizer working on norepinephrine, a stress hormone. This is likely to calm the amygdala panic response which is a primary feature of my son’s manifestation of BDD. The drug seems to be helpful for those who found the alcohol outlet from illness. The effect the drug has is similar to having had a couple of drinks. A bit light headed and fuzzy.
He had his first dose of Lyrica last night. He was able to sleep till 4am. He was able to overcome two panic sessions where the thought arrived and was processed to the feeling of palpitations but then subsided. He has had a few more panics over the Testosterone story in the last couple of hours but they haven’t ripped up the scale and taken the roof off. He is looking forward to an NBA game so there is a distraction.
It is important to recognize how the storytelling in BDD is so significant in maintaining the potency of the illness. The testosterone story has no real point to it. Whatever happened in the past should be left in the past.
He tells me he knows his story is true.
But I ask, “If it is true, why doesn’t it solve your concerns?”
He then replies that he doesn’t know if it is true.
Of course, I reply that this thought then is only a hypothesis and can’t be proven at all. So why does it frighten you?
And then he replies,” Because it is true.”
A circle of ‘what if’ thoughts, with no end or beginning. Sub-logical, originating at the level of a survival fear.
The doc wants me to stick with a consistent message that the story can’t be a hook for me. I am to answer, “No answer.” It still isn’t helping at present. I am to leave if he keeps up with the requests for reassurance. Got to prepare how to do this consistently.
We also have made agreements on the use of the mobile phone. No phone in bed for online browsing and a ban on hair sites. It is up to him to start some self-regulation and become accountable for what he does that continues the compulsions.
We commenced some logic work as well. One IQ question each day. There are plenty of online sites with questions and answers. Crosswords and any other form of mind game using logic is also to be encouraged. His brain needs to be exercised and respected for what it can do. This might be the step closer to mindfulness that we seem to be missing.
Knowing you are in control of your mind though mindfulness is an important skill he has yet to really start working on. Being aware of what you are thinking in this moment now sort of takes the mind off free flowing automatic pilot and makes you accountable for your own mental paper trail. This will take some training and a much needed routine established. Hopefully the bed warmer will get a new zest for life.
I suppose there is the point. He is just too passive. He has given into his wife over many years. His wants were not important. He stopped caring himself to even be able to express them. He still often apologizes for things without needing to as though he is always wrong. He doesn’t complain when he should about how he has been treated. He lets others make the decision for him even when they don’t work for him. He tells his wife only what he thinks she wants to hear. I suppose it all adds up to a people pleaser who just thought others would treat him well because they thought like him. But everyone is not the same. You have to know what is right for you and be assertive about it. His mind has not been directed to concentrate on what is important. It has been hijacked for a long time. Maybe my part in that is that I have enabled it to happen without realising it. But no one can be blamed for not knowing.
It is only when you know it is wrong and you keep doing it that you have let yourself down. That is accountability. Most BDDers can be at odds with the need for accountability. The lying or distorting nature of BDD thinking can obscure what is important.
He knows what wellness looks like but he is still unwilling to do it. Why does the bedroom feel so safe? When will he learn it isn’t? Marg

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