Hi, I am Mia and here is a bit about my journey with BDD.
I started having anxiety about my appearance when I was around 8, but it was somewhat manageable. However it progressively got worse throughout my teens and around the age of 16 (in 2019) I spiralled into deep pit of depression. I started to withdraw from society and couldn’t be around friends and family, as I became obsessed with thinking people were staring at my perceived flaws; I would hide my face with my hair and wear hoodies. I then would begin to film myself, rewatch and then analyse each frame. On the bad days I could film up to 50 videos. Whenever anyone talked about appearance, I would have an overwhelming rush of anxiety and in some instances, I would have panic attacks. I started to analyse every conversation and my BDD would create a false narrative.
However after speaking with my therapist, who at the time was treating me for my OCD, she explained that what I was describing sounded like BDD. She said that BDD and OCD have similar cycles. That’s why I was more likely to develop BDD as well, however that doesn’t mean that’s the case for everyone. You could have BDD and have no OCD, and vice versa. But it did give me some relief knowing that.
I started to create a mental health page on Instagram where I shared my experiences. This gave me an outlet and I also met other BDD warriors who helped me fight the horrendous monster. I also found The BDD Foundation, who have changed my life and have given me tools to fight the BDD bully. I’m forever grateful that this charity exists!
Mia & the Monki campaign:
Marie Claire Netherlands Interview
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