What if I have a real defect or flaw?
People with BDD often ask this question.
The very nature of BDD means that the person suffering believes they have an obvious flaw or defect and will likely be seeing themselves very differently to how others see them.
The key thing to remember is that BDD is a problem of excessive worry, pre-occupation and shame about appearance, and it will persist despite reassurance.
Some sufferers acknowledge that they may be seeing things differently, others are so firmly convinced about their defect that they do not believe others trying to reassure them that it is unnoticeable or unimportant. Regardless of this, nobody deserves to endure the distress and negative impact on day-to-day life that BDD causes.
Many people with BDD have been bullied or teased about their appearance and that has impacted how they see themselves. We believe this says far more about the bully than the person with BDD. Dealing with these experiences would be a part of treatment and recovery.
Visible flaws and BDD
A “real” defect such as a facial disfigurement that others can easily notice can also cause marked distress. You may not have BDD but you can still be helped to feel and function better – see for example www.changingfaces.org.uk.