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Hyperlordosis, Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

Oxhine

Oxhine

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Australia
Hi, for those who are unfamiliar with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), I want to start by saying that I'm absolutely not a vain person who thinks appearance is all that matters; this is an irrational fixation that I've always had with the shape of my body and I'm perfectly rationally aware that it doesn't make sense, nonetheless it's played a strong part at keeping me from interacting with other people on most levels.

I've never had the courage to talk about this to anyone right because of the fear of judgement, and also because I know that there are many people with far worse and more important problems, so I wouldn't really have much right to whinge, anyway I'll give it a shot here, perhaps I'll find somebody who relates.

I think BDD relates to OCD, that's why I've posted this here, but mods feel free to move this wherever it may be more appropriate.

So it happens that I was born with a noticeable accentuated curvature of my spine (hyperlordosis), which basically makes my abdomen and buttocks "stick out" more than normal. From a medical point of view, this condition does not cause any physical health problems at all, it is only an aesthetic peculiarity, not even that rare I believe. You can google the term if you want, I don't want to see those images so I won't put any links.

Because of that, when I was a little child I remember my parents used to call me with a moniker derived from my looks, of course in an affectionate and innocent way, and I absolutely don't remember having been troubled by that at all. Moving into primary school, kids at an early age don't care much about looks, even though in the later years sometimes they used to remark how I swayed my bum when walking and running, although again in a playful way, without the intention to make fun of me, or at least I never took it that way. At the time I was already quite concerned with another part of my body though, although I got over that later.

It was when I went to high school that it didn't take long before one of my classmates found me a very "fitting" nickname, and this time it was indeed aimed at ridiculing me, so everyone else picked it up too and that more or less became the way the used to call me. I used to pretend I wouldn't care, and just smiled at it, but it really felt humiliating and disheartening, so that's how my body shape started becoming an overwhelming preoccupation in my head: more than keeping looking at myself in mirrors, I would tend to avoid them completely, turning my head away from any reflective surface that showed my image, and even becoming fearful of appearing in photos.

Since that period I started avoiding hanging out with other people (not that I had been a very sociable kid until then), and avoiding all places where I'd have to undress myself (beach, swimming pool...). I even had a few girls ask me out and I went as far as turning them all down because I was certain they'd somehow missed that trait of my body and would soon just reject me themselves. In general, I completely isolated myself from society, fell into depression and wasted a couple of decades of my life like that.

Without anyone who would care much about my mental health (parents included), it was only in my late twenties that with a rare spark of courage I independently made the effort of going to see a therapist for the first time in my life, but only about the depression in general, I didn't mention my concerns with my appearance at all. I was advised to make a big change to my life, including moving away from my parents' place, and that fortunately led me to find my first job at 30 years old. Of course one where I don't have to deal with other people, so that's what's keeping me alive right now.

I think what triggered this post is that the other day one of my colleagues at work told me that I'm getting fat and should look after myself: I'm 63kg, I only eat once a day for dinner to avoid being bloated during the day and make the problem worse, I avoid fats and other foods that could increase my weight, I'm vegan and exercise more or less regularly (just for general health and fitness, not body building). Still, people see me as fat and feel the need to point it out, it's quite frustrating, I should know better and not pay attention to them, but it's hard...

I thought I'd share my story, even though I know that there's no way to solve anything, let alone go back in the past and change the course of history, but perhaps somebody with the same problem one day will read this post and will contact me, so at least we'll be able to vent each other's frustration and perhaps feel a little less alone in this world.

Again, I apologise to all those with problems worse than this one, I'm aware of you all, I respect your courage and love you with all my heart. I just thought I'd leave this note here too :) Peace
 
bpd2020

bpd2020

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
5,075
Location
England
I have bdd and it is only ignorant people who would call us vain. It is not about vanity at all. From reading your post I can see how it could have started. You were bullied and this would have installed negative opinions about your body. It is disgusting and rude of your colleague to mention your weight. I hate people who feel they have the right to comment on others. It is none of their business. I am so sorry as I know how much that would have hurt you.

There is treatment for bdd. A trained therapist will work on you accepting your body. I do not know if that is something you would wish to try.

Please do not think others have things worse then you. Mental illness is mental illness no matter what.
 
Oxhine

Oxhine

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Australia
Thanks bpd, yeah, mental illness is mental illness, but I can't help comparing the cause of mine with what many other people are going throuhgh, from debilitating diseases, complicated family situations, physical abuse etc... I do feel irrelevant against them, as theirs depend on uncontrollable external factors, while mine I could solve it if only I was stronger myself, so I'd probably understand if some of those reading this thought I'm silly and kind of vain... It'd be hard to explain how irrational yet oppressive and incapacitating my thoughts are to somebody unfamiliar with obsessive disorders and their repercussions on my daily life. I wish I could make them go away with reasoning and logic, but they come back as soon as I let my guard down...

And yes, my colleague was quite insensitive, but again, if it wasn't for my disorder I should have just known better and ignored him, or maybe retorted with a joke or something, so I feel like ultimately it's my fault for magnifying a very small thing. I mean, I'm sure many other reasonable adults don't even pay attention to my body at all, they have their own big and small problems to care about, and even if they do notice it, they won't care for longer than a couple of seconds and certainly not judge me based on that.

I'm even wondering whether I had some sort of predisposition for bdd, even before being bullied in school, in fact I remember having obsessions with parts of my body and comparing myself to others since childhood.

Thanks for mentioning that there's treatment for bdd, although at my age I don't think it would be worth trying to change much: I have kind of found my way to survive, and thinking about changing my life now would feel more scary than exciting; sometimes I even think that even if I found a way to solve this problem now, then I'd regret not having done it much earlier, thus making me feel even worse. My main concern honestly is not about fixing bdd at this stage, but what will happen of me when I'll be old and I won't have any relatives or friends to help me or just talk to, but I hope that by that time we will have legalised ways to decide when to switch the light off.

I can't see your profile, bpd, so can't even read your story and I don't know if it's something that maybe you can link me by pm or similar, I'd be curious to read whether you've tried treatment and how that worked for you.
 
bpd2020

bpd2020

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
5,075
Location
England
I have compared myself to others too and felt I did not have enough reason to feel the way I do. Pain is pain and if a person is in pain then they are suffering. Yes, some people may not understand but it does not take away your feelings.

With bdd we cannot shrug off personal comments. You thinking you should not have these feelings is not fair on you because you have a condition that causes you to feel more pain when being criticised.

I can understand you not wanting to try therapy. I have not had therapy for bdd. I have bpd and therapy always focused on that.
 
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