you've ever had a BDD attack, you'll understand
why we've made a section dedicated to coping with them! During a
BDD attack, a BDDer is filled with despair, loss of all hope, and
suicidal ideation. It is the most horrible, gut wrenching, painful
experience imaginable to mankind--no words can describe this feeling.
The best way to cope with a BDD attack is to not let one escalate
in the first place. Once an attack has come, it is nearly impossible
to just force it away. It usually needs to pass on its own.
here is a list of useful, proven techniques to help you keep BDD
attacks at bay and manage to the best of your abilities if you're
amidst one (you'll notice that several of these tips are also recommended
in the insider tips section of this
site. The tips listed here have been singled out as the most efficient
for dealing with BDD attacks):
2. Do something productive
3. Release anger
4. Positive thinking
6. When everything has failed
Avoid people and places that you know will trigger a BDD attack
if you are in a vulnerable state. If you are having a bad BDD episode,
and you know that it could easily turn into an attack, just stop
everything you're doing and take some time off. If you've made prior
arrangements that are triggering your attack, see if you can modify
them. For instance, if you've promised someone that you haven't
seen in a long time that you'll go out for lunch with them in a
restaurant, perhaps you could minimize the stress by asking them
if they'll just come to your house and chat instead. Most likely,
you'll notice that something during your day is different and more
stress provoking than usual. Try to rearrange your day to make things
During a BDD attack, you will think about your imagined deformity
nonstop. The more you think about it, the more you panic, so it's
best to try to keep your mind off of your appearance. To do this
takes a lot of willpower, perhaps more than most people can offer,
but it's still an obtainable goal. Don't look at celebrities and
don't compare yourself to others. Put yourself on survival mode
and push yourself to do something productive. Answer emails, draw
a picture, run a mile, do some gardening. Don't do anything that
requires much concentration or relaxation time like reading or taking
a bath, as your mind will wander, and you'll start to panic again.
Keep working until you are so absorbed in your work, that you are
no longer thinking about your appearance. When you stop working,
you will usually have snapped out of major BDD attack mode.
Scream. Throw a ball against the wall. Hit pillows. Run around a
room and stomp on the floor. Usually, this will calm you down quite
a bit, and might even make you laugh afterwards.
For everything negative that your critical inner voice tells you,
come up with a counter statement that's positive. It will take a
lot of willpower to keep this up, and usually, you won't believe
any of it. But, it will keep you occupied and might buy you the
needed time to get over your BDD attack instead of hurting yourself.
If all else fails, I've found what works better than almost everything
else, is just giving up. Go to your bedroom, fall in bed, cry your
eyes out, and fall asleep. Usually, things are looking much brighter
in the morning.
tips haven't helped. What should I do now?
If none of the following has helped, and you're still going through
a major BDD attack and are feeling suicidal, then I have two things
to say. First off, I think you're somewhat lying to yourself.
How do I know this? Because I'm like you. Go back up and read
through the coping steps above and really use them. Don't just
skim over them and say you tried, and then go back into your depressive,
hopeless state. We're in this together, and we have to put in
effort here if we want to get through this! Now if you can honestly
say you've put in a good 5 hours or so and made an unbelievable
effort to use the above techniques, but they just didn't work,
then it's time to get help. If you are feeling suicidal, it's
time to go to the next section of the site on suicide.