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What It's Really Like to Live With Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a body image disorder where individuals have constant thoughts about real or perceived flaws in their appearance. These individuals may have persistent negative thoughts towards their body image, which can cause severe emotional distress and interfere with their daily lives.

To find out what it’s really like to have BDD, we asked people in our Project HEAL community to describe what it’s like.

Here’s what they said:

1. “It feels like looking in a funhouse mirror and everything is wrong, but everyone tells you you’re wrong. But you just can’t see what they do and it makes it so much harder to believe them.” – Riannon M.

2. “It feels like everyone is lying about how they see you.” – Lucile D.

3. “It tells me what I see is true. It tells me I am not what society tells me I am.” – Lieba B.

4.  “It’s like seeing a stranger half the time and liking myself the other half [of the time] but I don’t know which to believe.” – Caroline L.

5. “It’s like looking into a carnival funhouse mirror every day. Each image is more distorted than the next.” – Krys K.

6. “You are forced to struggle with the idea of allowing and even encouraging yourself to believe the people around you more than you believe yourself. This, for me, is the scariest, hardest part.” — Alexandra L.

7. “It’s praying the facade would fall away and you could just see your soul instead.” — Karina R.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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Thinkstock photo via Archv.