This week, the guest post comes courtesy of Rhianna, creator of Rhianna Elizabeth Blog. Rhianna has chosen to write about her experiences with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, as well as how it has linked in to her depression and anxiety.
First of all, thank you so much to Lindsay for allowing me to create a guest post for her blog. For this post, I thought it would be beneficial to talk about a mental health disorder which people still need to be educated on….Body Dysmorphic Disorder!
Within our modern day society, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is at its peak and has the ability to take complete control over individuals’ lives and in a very negative manner if I may add.
So, what is body dysmorphia? In brief terms, as recognised by the NHS website, it is categorised as a mental health condition that involves a person feeling constant anxiety over flaws of their appearance, flaws that are mostly unrecognisable to others.
I personally have lived with this disorder since the age of 15, and I will tell you now that it is far more complicated than the assumption of low self-esteem! Of course it has an aspect within the disorder, but those with BDD have a tendency to have other mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression and a history of eating disorders. Society underestimates the effects that a mental illness can have on a person – with BDD, there is a strong correlation with isolating oneself which in the long run, has a major reaction on your social, work and academic life.
In the past few years, alongside my other mental health issues, BDD has drained me of my confidence, obsessing over the flaws that I see within myself, convinced that others can also see these flaws and are disgusted. Now even though I am starting to recognise that this is my anxiety which is making these assumptions, there are still days where I feel unworthy or unattractive.
Mirrors can be my worst enemy, constantly looking at them at picking out issues that I see of myself, constantly trying to hide them in any way possible. Unlike other disorders, this particular one is something that I had never heard about until I was 17, so for over two years, I truly believed that my behaviours towards myself were something of a normality and that there was nothing to be done in order to help me.
Support as I find my way through BDD and how to manage it has been such an important factor within recovery, especially as someone with anxiety and depression alongside. I wish that it had not taken so long to be educated on BDD, so I could have been able to manage it! There is no need to dwell on the past and with time and continuing to educate myself, I know that my positive outlook on my experiences with BDD will continue.
For more detailed information about BDD and the types of support available, here are some links that I have found useful – I hope they are help to you also!
If you would like to know more about body dysmorphic disorder, Rhianna has included the following links: