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Body dysmorphia: Real life struggles.

Permanent Linkby margharris on Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:48 am

Six days sober. I suppose with each quit/break you learn something more about why you use alcohol and how much better it is to know what you did all of yesterday. You must be getting better at quitting. Well that is the thinking I am clinging to. Most likely you get complacent over time and at that six month mark you forget the awful horror you were and think you can manage a glass. And the genie is loose again.
He had his final MRI yesterday. Really sure he had no oxytocin as he was not bubbly at all unlike the first session. We also learnt that the professor is funding much of this research himself. He works on the weekends and on holidays with private patients and uses this money to fund the research. I think this made my son feel quite a bit worse as he had been too drunk and in mind fog to remember his last appointment with him. This professor was to see him on the Queens birthday holiday.
Anyway they will be putting the film through a computerised machine to analyse it for abnormal functioning. So the doc will be getting our results personally before any findings. He will then receive TMS targeted to his personal results.
He is finding the med regime a bit difficult. The sexual side effects would make this untenable for most men. Viagra and faking, but how long can you pull that off. Perhaps not the right choice of words there. His hope is that as he gets his BDD under better care with tailored CBT and TMS for his brain then he can reduce the dose. So I will keep this blog going so we all can track progress to this complete cure. If it is possible.
He is at "workable day" at the moment. He got up at 9 and is making plans about what he will do. When you consider he was bedridden and delirious for over a year on Seroquel, he has come along way. Still his case worker expected it would take another 6 months before a complete return to work and full functioning. He was gutted to hear that.
But my perspective on that is that she and I want him to really get over his BDD and not let it rest on the backburner with distraction working so well that he doesn't feel the anxiety and fear of it so doesn't bother dealing with it. He did that last time with Luvox. Keeping residual compulsions going is like not killing off all the cancer. It is a guarantee for a relapse. But i don't really know whether you can kill off this circuit in the brain that keeps the habits and thoughts alive.
It is about 3 weeks since the last anxiety cut and probably half a year since it was washed. My harping is not likely to be a strong motivation. I have written a postit for his to do list. It is up to him to face his fears.
Fear and running away from fear through the need for safety and avoidance keeps this going. He doesn't know what is real or unreal. He has this unreal story that washing is dangerous and clings to that. He actual can tell me that he cant fathom how people can wash their hair and blow dry it. This part of his brain is impervious to logic. This is where I imagine CBT is needed to tease away at the absence of logic in what he is doing. The brain is running at the level of automatic compulsion driven by fear.
An interesting poster on the forum claimed they didn't have anxiety with their BDD. The need to avoid has to be driven by fear. You need now to have some form of compulsive urge to check or compare to be diagnosed with BDD. My son still reports that he is comparing when he is out all the time. At the traffic lights you can see where his gaze is going. It is distressing. So all this has to subside for him to overcome this. Still he says he has better perspective.
I asked him now what percentage improvement he gives his BDD. He said 70%. At this stage that is how well the meds have worked. He then went on to say he now knows personality can get you a long way. He used to think that but really didn't believe it when he was in the grips of his BDD mindset. He concern is that he is now dating someone who is as shallow as the looks thinking that consumed him. Lasered legs make him even more self conscious of his hairiness. Twelve bottles of hair products make him self conscious of the need to wash. None of us are free from the image makers that are so good at making us feel inadequate and needing that must have purchase. He is learning to live in this world with all this going on around him. You can't turn the TV on without hearing what you are missing. Wish you all well. Marg

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