I am a 24 year old with BDD. I was diagnosed last year with both BDD and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. I have always suffered with anxiety, depression, relationships and personality issues, but about 18 months ago – after experiencing the greatest time in my life where I finally felt strong, amazing, excited about life, and full of potential – I completely crashed into the ground and couldn’t function anymore (trouble eating, sleeping, going outside, talking to others etc.).
2 years ago I had a severe rash which required 6 weeks of oral steroids, which had an awful effect on my mental health and I became completely exhausted and left my job. One month later , in an awful coincidence, I was injected with Depo-Provera by a negligent and arrogant doctor who did not gain my informed consent. This drug further exacerbated my mental health problems and caused huge problems with my hormones. I started having intrusive suicidal thoughts and my emotions became extreme. In the following months, I redeveloped acne (historically bullied for this) and lost a good portion of my hair because of the hormonal imbalance. I lost some extremely important relationships.
I don’t feel like myself anymore. I am devastated about my appearance most of the time. I definitely think about it 24/7. I feel like if I looked better I would have so much potential as I am a dedicated and hard working person. I want to be attractive to the opposite sex but mainly I just want to like what I see. I want to sometimes be able to get dressed up and be like ‘damn I look good today’. I NEVER have that. My thoughts are extremely self-deprecating. I know I am not good enough. It stops me from doing any of the things I used to enjoy and it all seems meaningless now, and its so devastating watching your life go by or seeing other people live the life you know you can.
For a long time, I did not know what I looked like – looking in the mirror I could not tell and I could not picture myself in my head. I think I created this prettier version of what I looked like in my head and started to believe it because people, particularly family members, would say “you’re beautiful” (this does not fit my experience). But now I know that this pretty version I was imagining was not reality. For this reason, I would think I looked good, then be shocked to see what I saw in the mirror or photo because it did not match. What I saw was hideous and disgusting and would cause a panic attack.
I now know what I look like more accurately, am mourning the loss of the pretty girl that I thought I was, and am just devastated that this is me. I know I am not amazing looking. I have always wanted to be gorgeous but at best am just acceptable. I don’t want to be someone’s second choice and I don’t want to feel ugly everywhere I go. Life has been pretty hard so far, and at this point I cannot pretend to cope anymore and go back to work etc. It’s too painful.
I really don’t know if I’ll ever be able to live again.