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  1. #1
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    Default Has anyone successfully beaten BDD?

    I am going insane with this. I used to see a therapist but he really did not help me at all. He was close to retirement and may have been just mailing it in. Anyway, I cannot stop looking in mirrors (especially checking my hair and acne). Since I've upgraded to the new iPhone, I also use that reverse camera thing to look at myself at every opportunity. I am not exaggerating when I say that I spend at least a half hour per day looking at my reflection/image in some way. My appearance is all that I think about. It is preventing me from thinking about things that matter: studies, friends, family, girls, etc. I don't really know where else to turn. Any advice, brahs?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Davey Jones's Avatar
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    Right off the bat, you should get rid of every mirror you own aside from your bathroom mirror. If your iPhone is encouraging that behavior, you should consider changing phones too. I know that iPhones are sick. If I wasn't saving for a big move, I'd get me one. But it's obviously encouraging a behavior that you know is interfering with your life. How much is getting on with your life worth to you?

    Every time you look at yourself, it reinforces the thought pattern that you need to look at yourself. Basically an "Oh no, I look like shit, good thing I checked." Or an "Oh man, I look great, good thing I checked." It's operant conditioning. You need to remove the rewarding/punishing stimuli to start extinguishing the product behavior.

    That's a long way from fixing BDD, but you know that cliche thing they say: every journey starts with one step.

  3. #3
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    Well said, Davey.

    I had to force myself not to analyze/count every single hair on my head, not check my hairline close-up for 20 minutes a day, etc. Just like you said, some days I was chill with my hairline's look or I wouldn't see any hair on my hand in the shower -- those days felt great. Even though it had a positive impact on my mentallity short term, it set me up just to knock me down when I saw hair on my hand in the next day or two. It was just re-enforcing the habit, even when I felt good.

    I read this thread last night, and even though I've somewhat overcome my own BDD, I had no idea how to answer his inquiry.

    Great post, mang.

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    Thanks for the support guys. Davey, your advice is very sound and rational, especially on the tail-end of a psychology exam in which I studied conditioning and the like. I really want to make a conscious effort to not look in the mirror so much but one of my major issues is that my skin gets stupidly oily. As such, I usually have to go to the bathroom once every few hours to wipe it so I don't look all greasy and disgusting. It's while I'm there that I typically also look at my hair and other things.

  5. #5
    Senior Member baldozer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aames View Post
    Thanks for the support guys. Davey, your advice is very sound and rational, especially on the tail-end of a psychology exam in which I studied conditioning and the like. I really want to make a conscious effort to not look in the mirror so much but one of my major issues is that my skin gets stupidly oily. As such, I usually have to go to the bathroom once every few hours to wipe it so I don't look all greasy and disgusting. It's while I'm there that I typically also look at my hair and other things.
    What are you studying? Which degree?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aames View Post
    Thanks for the support guys. Davey, your advice is very sound and rational, especially on the tail-end of a psychology exam in which I studied conditioning and the like. I really want to make a conscious effort to not look in the mirror so much but one of my major issues is that my skin gets stupidly oily. As such, I usually have to go to the bathroom once every few hours to wipe it so I don't look all greasy and disgusting. It's while I'm there that I typically also look at my hair and other things.
    I had greasy skin and bad acne from like age 14-17 or something like that. I remember every day thinking how I would be such a happier, better person if it'd go away.

    Fast forward 7-8 years: I take my skin for granted every single day -- I've almost totally forgotten how much it blows to have acne. Now, instead I think how much happier I would be and how much better life would be if I wasn't balding.

    I think that's what it is about guys like us. We're never happy. After hanging with a girl for a week or two, I go from total infatuation to utter disinterest. If there's a way to learn to be content, but still motivated to better oneself, I would love to know. I will say I'm definitely better than I used to be, but so far yet to go.

  7. #7
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    Aames, how old are you? You remind me of myself in a strange way.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldozer View Post
    What are you studying? Which degree?
    I want to be a pharmacist so I plan to get a bachelor's degree in chemistry.
    Quote Originally Posted by BigThinker View Post
    I had greasy skin and bad acne from like age 14-17 or something like that. I remember every day thinking how I would be such a happier, better person if it'd go away.

    Fast forward 7-8 years: I take my skin for granted every single day -- I've almost totally forgotten how much it blows to have acne. Now, instead I think how much happier I would be and how much better life would be if I wasn't balding.

    I think that's what it is about guys like us. We're never happy. After hanging with a girl for a week or two, I go from total infatuation to utter disinterest. If there's a way to learn to be content, but still motivated to better oneself, I would love to know. I will say I'm definitely better than I used to be, but so far yet to go.
    God man, yeah acne is ****ing terrible. Especially at my age, it just shouldn't be there. I want to go on Accutane so bad but I fear hair loss similar to what happened/is happening to Highlander. He plans to get a HT soon but I won't be able to afford one until I am out of school and I really do not want to have one if it is avoidable.

    I'm also really afraid that I will never be happy. My biggest fear is achieving my goals but still being depressed. If that happens, I'll probably just kill myself. I wonder if happiness is impossible for some people.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLaughingCow View Post
    Aames, how old are you? You remind me of myself in a strange way.
    21, man. I'm sorry to hear that you struggle with things such as this. Hopefully we can conquer this and move on some day.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aames View Post
    My biggest fear is achieving my goals but still being depressed.

    I wonder if happiness is impossible for some people.
    Gotta set and reach benchmarks in your life. It's necessary. Academics and career development are aspects of your life you have immediate, total control over. Happiness will follow as you find success. Snow ball your confidence.

  10. #10
    Senior Member baldozer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aames View Post
    I am going insane with this. I used to see a therapist but he really did not help me at all. He was close to retirement and may have been just mailing it in. Anyway, I cannot stop looking in mirrors (especially checking my hair and acne). Since I've upgraded to the new iPhone, I also use that reverse camera thing to look at myself at every opportunity. I am not exaggerating when I say that I spend at least a half hour per day looking at my reflection/image in some way. My appearance is all that I think about. It is preventing me from thinking about things that matter: studies, friends, family, girls, etc. I don't really know where else to turn. Any advice, brahs?
    Common man, it shouldn't be so bad. Look at me, I started balding at 13 and was a NW6 when graduated from university. All my classmates had full heads of hair. Imagine what a freak I used to look like, bald at such a young age. It was really embarrassing for me, but life went on, and I did very well academically. When I was in my early 20s, people thought I was a 35 year old guy. You at least have hair!

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