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Body Dysphoric Disorder? Anorexia?


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Right now my weight is a huge issue. I lost 25lbs in 2 months and have been keeping it off, and trying to lose more (note: people tell me i dont need to lose weiht, but they all say that dont they?). My counselor and cardiologist seems concerned, but I havent told my psychiatrist. I lost the weight by not eating; eating one small meal a day. I'm not seemingly too weak, or too fragile. But I have a big build (like a linebacker), so every lb shows a rib or two.

My counselor thinks I have BDD. I can't even reconize a picture of me. I think I'm ugly, I think I'm fat. I see it in the mirror, I see it when I look at myself and I see it when reviewing pictures. But in reality, someone drew a profile of me and I couldn't tell who it was. Could this be BDD? Should I talk to my psychiatrist?

I'm afraid to tell my psychiatrist because he may put me on a med that increases appetite and causes me to gain weight. He also may take me off one of the three appetite suppressants I'm already on. Plus, I'm tired of people asking me how my weight is. Always sayin "good" when I gain a pound, always asking me if I really do think I'm Anorexic. Well I don't think so, I just think I have body dysphoria.

This is the first time I talked about this subject, so please be nice.

Twitch

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There's an awesome book about BDD in men, if you haven't read it already, called "The Adonis Complex".

I'm afraid to tell my psychiatrist because he may put me on a med that increases appetite and causes me to gain weight. He also may take me off one of the three appetite suppressants I'm already on. Plus, I'm tired of people asking me how my weight is. Always sayin "good" when I gain a pound, always asking me if I really do think I'm Anorexic. Well I don't think so, I just think I have body dysphoria.

Then don't tell your psychiatrist. But do talk to someone about it--for your health. Also, this is something that's hard to work out on your own. Possibly a therapist?

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I've always thought of myself as fat, but then again I weighed 420 when I finally started to diet and exercize. Now I'm down to 240 and my wife thinks I'm skinny, so I just go by how my clothes fit rather than worrying what the scale says. I still feel fat, but my friends and co-workers tell me I look good, so I force myself to believe them (as much as is possible), but keep a complete set of "fat clothes" just in case. After writing this, I realize it isn't very helpful, but maybe it will help a tiny bit.

Tommy

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I'm thinking that I have real body issues, I randomly decide to just eat as little as possible. Stay under 600 calories. Some times I go for days with out eating. It is the only time I feel remotely good about my self. I lose a bit of weight so it is self rewarding. .

Panz

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Hi Twitch,

I have recovered from anorexia. I remember when I got it. I started to eat less and less and got really skinny. I became totally obsessed with food and what I ate or didn't eat. I didn't think there was a problem at first because I still felt healthy and had plenty of energy. I was proud of being skinny. Having control over my food and my body made me feel powerful. I didn't think I was anorexic because I was clearly eating, and sometimes I even ate chocolate or half of a cookie...

Without going into the gory details, the anorexia turned into bulimia and compulsive exercise after about a year, which was a living nightmare. I was so skinny, falling over when I exercised and easily injuring myself. I eventually sought out a therapist to help me recover, because I couldn't stop on my own.

After I returned to normal eating, it still took several years for my body to recover, and for my metabolism to return to normal. I still have problems with my blood sugar which I think was induced by the starvation, and gum erosion from all of the vomiting. Sorry, it's nearly impossibly to talk about this without mentioning the gory details.

From your post, it looks like you have the early stages of anorexia. I think you realize you have a problem on some level, or else you wouldn't have posted. I'm just here to say, it starts off seemingly okay, then goes radically downhill to depths of hell you cannot fathom, and leaves long-lasting damage to your body.

You are going to have to accept yourself being "fat", whatever that means to you, if you want to recover. It is the only way out of a dangerous downward spiral. Eventually, you will realize that "fat" probably isn't really so fat, and that your body is fine the way it is. The most important thing is to live a healthy lifestyle. I hope you won't have to get much skinnier or unhealthier before you realize this. You too, Panz.

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Guest oklawman

My girlfriend suffers from Body Dysphoria, and is getting professional help, yet I would like some guidance about it. To me and many others, she is very gorgeous, the most beautiful woman I have ever seen; yet she refuses to believe that, feels like I am crazy. She works out extremely, will starve herself, do diet pills. What can I do, as her boyfriend, her love....to help her?

THank you for any guidance any one can offer me.

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it's actually "Body Dysmorphic Disorder"

Here's a description from the mayo clinic

BDD can present with an eating disorder, but it can also be something that doesn't involve weight issues at all.

I have been teased growing up about being anorexic because i have always been skinny, and new doctors (like in the hospital) always seem to hedge into a discussion of whether i have an eating disorder, and while i do have fluctuations in my appetite, but i do not have an eating disorder. I do possibly and certainly have in the past, experienced other aspects of this - seeing myself as very ugly, picking at acne, covering up my body and its perceived flaws with excess clothing, head covering, or whatever. probably more related to anxiety and/or a family history of ocd.

i think i still have moments of perceiving myself in really skewed ways, but i tend to be able to not get overwhelmed by these thoughts. i think it's really tied into anxiety, at least in my experience, and the higher my general anxiety is, the more likely i am to start feeling like my shoulders really need to be covered up, or that my face is all distorted and stuff. i sometimes experience my body as changing shape, as being inhabited by others, so my face will feel like .. i don't know. like my chin feels like my grandmother's chin, or my lips like friend's lips. it's hard to say what that is, but it's certainly dysmorphic. heh.

seek help for this if it's really interfering with living. but really, to be clear, if you're controlling your food intake and exercising excessively you aren't just dealing with a flawed perception of your body, you're dealing with an eating disorder.

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  • 2 weeks later...

while i have my own issues with BDD, i wanted to comment on a male friend who has a BAD case of BDD.

he is a very good looking guy, and a normal weight. he's 35 and totally normal. he has a good, solid career, a girlfriend of 3 years (who he always wants to break up with, but that's a different story), a nice car, and all the trappings of success. you'd never peg him as someone with depression and BDD.

when he looks in the mirror, he says he sees a deformed monster! he sees his eyes as uneven, his lips as non-existent, his face as filled with acne, and his hair as dull and greasy. he also sees himself as horribly fat and short. in short, his views are HIGHLY distorted. as i said, he's what everyone would consider good looking, a very healthy weight, a very normal height (he's about 5'10 and 175lbs). he's even on the thin side because he tries to keep his weight down. that's an unhealthy trend for him, but he's by no means fat, but he sees himself that way. it is horrible to hear him go on about his alleged fatness and grossness, because he's neither!

he knows this cognitively, but he sees something entirely false, and feels terrible about himself. it is terrible indeed.

he is 1,000 worse than me when it comes to how he sees himself. as for me, i see a pretty woman who is fat. i'm a size 4 so i know realistically that i'm not fat, but i see myself in the mirror that way.

anyway,

what they do with anorexics in recovery at the hospital is make them lie down on some paper and have their outline traced, and show them how thin and frail they are. it really hits home for a lot of the people in recovery. you might want to get a big role of paper and have someone trace you, so you can see realistically what your size is.

eat healthy foods, exercise about 30 minutes a day with a moderate intensity (don't overdo it like a crazed maniac), and follow any instructions given to you by your gp or pdoc.

this is something you can beat! i have my own self-distortions, and i work on it every day. i tell myself all the time that i'm a small person. i wear small clothes and only weigh 115, yet i see myself as this bloated, huge cow. i'm sure you feel the same way. it is terrible!

try the outline exercise. i've heard it's powerful.

best of luck,

loon

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