I suffered from BDD when I was a teenager. From the ages of 13-18 I was convinced that I was grotesque. My diaries of the time are filled with pages of self loathing. It is quite painful to read. I was convinced that the only solution to my ‘problem’ was plastic surgery.
I borrowed books on the subject from the library and poured over them. I spent hours fantasising about the surgery I would have. No one believes me when I tell them this now. They say, ‘But you must have *known*. You only had to look in the mirror’. I have difficulty believing it myself. I look at pictures of myself taken at that time in my life (and there aren’t many. For obvious reasons, I always ensured that I was on the other side of the camera) and while I was no Helen of Troy I was certainly not grotesque. Fortunately, I never embarked upon the path of actually going through with surgery.
I would have been one of those people who would never be satisfied b/c the problem is in my head and no amount of surgery can fix that Lately, I’ve been grappling with how I look issues (mid-life crisis) Wondering how my children will fit in with society. Will they ever talk plainly(though they improve each day) And somewhere in the back in the recess of my mind and from the depths of my soul, I see it trying to come through–the attitude that I don’t have to be like everyone else.
That I stand alone on the merits of who I am–with or without cheekbones, regardless of any nasality, but by what I say and convey to others. We(a society) are working towards this…but still have a long way to go. . People with developmental disabilities (there’s that concept again : )) are working in the mainstream more, living independently, seen in restaurants, other public places more than before. Places are handicapped accessible. Sign language more prevalent. Schools mainstreamed and on and on.