CBT & E&R Prevention
is a list that will be continually updated with insider tips for
battling your BDD. These techniques may not be a cure to BDD, but
have been proven to alleviate symptoms and bring about a significant
decrease in all negative aspects of BDD! If you'd like to submit
a tip that's helped you battle BDD, please email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
not get plastic surgery!
you heard it! People with BDD tend to think that their imagined
deformity is real. You must remember, to be diagnosed with BDD,
your imagined defect doesn't exist! I highly recommend you do not
get plastic surgery, or even go to a consultation. Most people with
BDD will have a difficult time dealing with the judgment that a
plastic surgeon will make, as BDDers accept all outside opinions
as truth. I have heard of stories of BDD victims getting plastic
surgery and being satisfied, but their obsessions just moved on
to other features. But most BDDers aren't satisfied with the results
at all, feeling that their imagined problem is not perfect, and
I have heard several cases where they have become even more preoccupied
with their imagined deformity and continued to receive more and
more surgery until they were broke, anxious, suicidal, and more
depressed than ever! So if you have the idea in your mind that surgery
will answer all of your problems, think again. Don't do it!
angry and be assertive
Most people with BDD have had little to no experience with releasing
anger. Often, they'll let little things build up over time, never
expressing any dissatisfaction, until one day, they just explode!
I suggest, you learn to release anger, which can be done in several
First off, instead of being passive aggressive, try to become more
assertive, letting people know what bothers you while it's still
an issue, instead of ruminating over slight annoyances for months
Second, physically release anger as well. This is not recommended
to do on an everyday occasion, but it should be done often enough
to bring you relief. Take a pillow and hit it against a bed. Punch
the pillow! Scream! Kick a wall. Get a slam man and beat it up.
I cannot begin to tell you how much better I feel after releasing
all these horrible, toxic feelings I harbor inside. I think many
of us BDDers have no idea what anger really is, and if we can't
recognize it, we don't realize that we need to get rid of it! We
need to learn to recognize our feelings!
Additionally, it's a good idea to cry as well. Express emotions
as you feel them, and set up a time to express emotions that you
still need to release from previous occasions. This will bring such
a relief and eradicate anxiety, tension, and sometimes, even physical
pain! Also, if we are more assertive, it makes us less prone to
gossip, accepting jobs that we don't want to do, and finally, by
expressing all of our emotions, we can feel alive, and truly experience
the good emotions as well as the bad!
Create a Project
This technique has helped me more than probably all others.
What I highly recommend, is that you find an enjoyable hobby that
interests you, and transfer your BDD behaviors and beliefs onto
that project! It is incredible how well this works, and it's much
easier to beat up on your project than to beat up on your actual
being! The key here is to find something that is so detailed and
so time consuming, that you will never have the chance to worry
about your appearance. Additionally, you must have pretty strong
will power to resist the initial urge to abandon the project and
perform BDD rituals again. I think the best way to illustrate this
recommendation is to give an example.
I personally like art and computers, so what I've done, is created
a computer game. Since few people make games at home, I had no outside
sources to judge me. Since a computer game usually takes several
people to make, I had plenty of work on my hands to keep me busy!
Every task that I did could be perfected, so I could always find
little mistakes here and there to fix up. Do you see a pattern forming
here? This is just like our coping mechanism that we call BDD! To
top things off, when you complete such a project, it gives you a
huge rush of self-esteem and more motivation to do even bigger,
greater things! Our character traits brought about by BDD can actually
be beneficial here, bringing out very high quality products to other
people, be it writing, art, crafts, or anything else you can imagine!
The only down side to this recommendation is that you're avoiding
the real issue at hand. BDD is a coping mechanism that is trying
to keep you from a greater, underlying problem. For many of us,
this problem is too painful to face, and may be too painful for
a very long time to come. So, if you'd like to create a new coping
mechanism to take place of BDD, which can also bring some great
original things into the world, I highly recommend you get involved
in a huge, time consuming project, as it will help you cope, bring
about change and hope, alleviate depression, and allow you to lead
a more enjoyable, productive life! Sounds pretty good, huh?
one is simple. Sleep. The more tired you are, the worse your BDD
and negative self-talk will be. Don't ask me why--perhaps it has
to do with brain chemistry on no sleep, or maybe our rationality
sinks to the level of a preschooler when we're tired. Either way,
this is a given--just sleep.