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Wed May 29, 2013, 01:24 AM

How to help a friend suffering from BDD?

I have a friend who has SERIOUS BDD. Body Dysmorphic Disorder, you may have to look it up if you don't know what this is. His problem resolves around his face. He believes that he constantly sees new "permanent flaws" in his face that won't go away and continually monitors his face all the time. He keeps a log book of his face and enters new stuff in it every days. Things like small pimples and spider veins and lost eye lashes and who knows what. Thing is the guys is actually of above average handsomeness and his face couldn't be smoother or more blemish free most of the time. NO one can see the issues that are wrong with his face accept him and everyone tells him the same. But he refuses to believe that this is an emotional problem and will ONLY accept that it is a real physical issue, he will NOT accept that ANYTHING he sees is in any way emotionally driven. And yet he is willing to call it BDD because that is the label he has been given. It's clear from anyone talking to him that it's entirely emotional. He has other emotional issues as well that he refuses to deal with, the guys obviously has serious OCD and other similar issues and is neurotic to the point of abstraction. He does have one real physical issue with his face that probably triggered all the rest of this. He has a sebaceous gland issue that requires him to manually remove the sebum from under his skin or else he will break out in an itchy rash. This means that he has to periodically perform manual remove of this sebaceous fluid, I imagine it's similar to popping zits, etc... I realize this is a hard issue to deal with but all the rest of the blemishes and other things he thinks he sees on his face that make him so "ugly" ARE NOT THERE.

Now believe me I'm talking from the point of view of someone who knows emotional pain, I myself suffer from sever depression and anxiety issues that have crippled my life. However my issues don't revolve around my appearance so I have difficulty relating specifically to this issue. It's his stubbornness and complete unwillingness to accept that there is an emotional component involved that I have the most difficulty dealing with. I am far from solving my own emotional problems but I have insight into the fact that they are emotional issues and that I need to get help. How do I get him to see he needs help? I'm no psychiatrist but I believe his issues stem from his upbringing and more specifically his mother that he still lives with. His home environment is emotionally VERY strange and IMHO toxic to him, but he would be completely unwilling to see any of that.

He has even related to me issues in his past where he became violent with family members and police were called in and he ended up with a minor criminal record. He didn't hurt anyone and now tells it like it's all a silly joke in the past that was way overblown but to me this just SCREAMS deep seated family issues.

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Reply How to help a friend suffering from BDD? (Original post)
Locut0s May 2013 OP
olddots May 2013 #1
Locut0s May 2013 #2
Neoma Jun 2013 #3
Locut0s Jun 2013 #4

Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 03:58 AM

1. I've heard of it

 

the line between emotion and physical is not understood and may never be that's why there are so many scam artists .
It's a vicious cycle the medical doctor sends us to "mental" doctors who send us to physical doctors --bla bla bla

Is all of this about trauma ? is it just drama ? I think it's somewhere in both places and they over lap -the drama part is the unreal
reality that we need for our mystiques so we won't bore people when they actually get bored with the mystique crap instead of us as naked apes. what was I mumbling about ? oh yeah OCD and BDD we are all crazy and function to certain degrees , some people think they aren't crazy and they're the crazy ones . Your friend will be okay and so will you and I because in the immortal words of B.B.King Nobody loves me but my momma and she could be jiving me too .

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Response to olddots (Reply #1)

Wed May 29, 2013, 04:08 AM

2. I don't know if he will be OK...

He's been trying to date girls recently and faces nothing but rejection. He thinks this is further confirmation of his ugliness but I keep trying to tell him that the real reason is that he's a ball of neuroticism, awkwardness and desperation. No girl is going to want to go out with that, and it has nothing to do with your looks. But he won't listen and is unwilling to fix these other, IMO more important issues. He claims he comes across as perfectly normal, and uses his years of experience as a bank teller to claim that he knows how to interact with people. I know the kind of guy he is though, he's probably crafting a "normal" image that he wears in public and on dates "he's even admitted as much". I'm sorry but girls are going to see through that, it's going to seem robotic an awkward, and I really think he needs to fix these other issues. He's talked about feeling suicidal in the past as well. I have to in the past so I don't know how serious he really is, but I wouldn't put it past him.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 02:39 PM

3. I used to think pretty low of my appearance.

Then I got married and I didn't give a shit anymore because my husband isn't perfect either. This person is looking at microscopic things. You assume everyone can see all your black heads or hairs in the wrong places. It can make you crawl up the wall thinking that people notice your lazy eyelid or even the hair up your nose. I think women go through this more often than men because of all those stupid magazines with photoshopped/air-brushed women who don't have pores.

This isn't about his appearance in the long run, it's about the power and control of your life and the misdirection of how your appearance is what affects these things. Control over his charisma, power to make friends and influence people. The very strong need to be accepted by everyone. If you're isolated from others, this pops out even more dramatically because no one is reinforcing any idea that you look good...It's vanity flipped inside-out.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 01:43 AM

4. Thank you. I agree 100%...

He isn't living in an environment that is conducive to positive self esteem as from what I understand his mother actually actively makes fun of him. I don't doubt this from some of the family interactions I've seen. He needs to get out of his house, as do I, but I don't think he sees the importance in it.

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