Getting Help For BDD
Getting Help For BDD
Chris Trondsen (Recovering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder) gives expert video advice on: How did your mother encourage therapy?; What reason did you give your mother for your suicide attempt?; What were your initial goals for therapy? and more...
What reason did you give your mother for your suicide attempt?
I still would've told her about BDD, but I was telling her more and more about the actions that I was doing. I never told her why, I just told her the actions that I felt compelled to do. And as she researched it more, she really found out that it was OCD. These actions were claimed, put into a OCD category, and for me it was kind of like, oh wow, there's something out there that can stop getting me to do these things. I can still think I'm ugly and I can still focus on getting my skin clear and finishing my checklist, but it was almost like now all these extra things would get out of the way and I could almost focus on the checklist more.
What were your initial goals for therapy?
At this point in time, the thinking about all the time it was taking me to get ready and think about my appearance and stuff, that was normal. I was ugly and I had this horrible acne and skin and other problems --such as under my eyes, weight, hair-- and because of that I had to spend that amount of time on it. Other people who were born pretty or born normal, I felt below normal, they don't have to do that. But finding out that there could be a solution to these extra rituals I was doing and I could almost take that time now incorporating and get my skin better, I was pretty much down for it, I was ready to start attacking it.
What was your initial diagnosis?
When I first went to therapy, we had a name finally for what I had, OCD. We called around to find a therapist that had dealt with it before. We found someone local that my insurance covered and so I went to see him, and it was OCD to me. I didn't even know BDD existed. I still was too embarrassed to tell him about my appearance problems, so it was strictly -- anything that I told him, it was always kind of like, I had read up on OCD, it was because of germs and stuff, so I was always kind of like "yeah, I'm afraid of germs" just so that it would stick with OCD, we didn't have to talk about my appearance, and all the things that I was doing to get better was based on the rituals and had nothing to do with my appearance.
What was therapy like before you were diagnosed with BDD?
The doctor had said that I was delusional, that I was the worst case of OCD he had ever seen or treated, that it was going to take four years just for me to see the slightest of improvement and that the rest of my life, I was probably not going to be able to function. I wasn't going to ever be able to move out of my parents' house and I was going to spend my entire life like this. Him telling me that not only made me feel like crap. It not only made me feel like great, I am the worst case of OCD this guy had ever dealt with and we researched the best one that my insurance covered in the area. It was hopeless again. It was I was never going to stop these rituals. What do I do?
Did you consider taking your life again?
At those periods of time is was almost constant. Now that I had almost attempted suicide it was kind of like, "You could really do it. You could really do it Chris." So there were a lot of times I was once again frustrated. My rituals, once I had moved into the new house, had become worse. That was always the back option: "Well I am going to commit suicide." At this point, my family finally took more of a role. My mom was constantly with me, My dad, my grandma, my sister too. So it became a lot harder. I wasn't left alone and not I had these people constantly on my back. It was always kind of an option but I never once again tried it.