What’s It Like to Have Body Image Issues?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

People who have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) develop an obsession over some perceived or imaginary flaw in their physical appearance.

BODY IMAGE ISSUES AND COPINGThey mistakenly believe they are deformed and monstrous. This delusion can literally ruin their lives. Michael Jackson was a famous person who had it.  After therapy a person may know that they are not disfigured and monstrous. In fact, they can actually know that they are very pretty from all the compliments that they get. Even then, they may sometimes avoid mirrors, worry about lighting, and even fall back into the thought that, “Oh my god, they see it, they all see it, and they’re disgusted.”

How does it feel to have body image issues?

body image issues

Tanya Brooks 16 – High School Student

“To me it feels like I’m missing out on my own life. Like I’m missing quite a lot of what my peers are enjoying to the full; right in front of me and all around. Wherever I go, I see their slender, beautiful and fit bodies in their perfect coordinated outfits, with casual smiles all over their young and delighted faces and awfully perfect skin.”

Bart van Kippered 21 – Gamer

“Even though I stay in due to the pressure I feel when facing the world and its people, Facebook is there to remind me how all these constructed lives are cheerful and unconcerned, while I’m the exact opposite.

To me, it means I don’t go hang out with friends, I don’t go to the beach in the summer, and I never meet new people except through internet. I’m trapped in my own body. I simply cannot make myself do such things and let myself be exposed to the surroundings.”

Fiona Wild 28 –Volunteer Fire Fighter

“I get depressed every time I glance at my reflection in a mirror or walk by a shop window and get a glint of my own image. I simply don’t want to glance down at my body by accident. I can’t bear to look at myself and accept how awful I feel about my appearance.

When I am in intimate with my husband, it is never without having my self-hatred pound on me the entire time; every single time. I don’t get joy out of activities other people tend to enjoy. I therefore avoid them because I simply can’t handle them. I feel mortified and want no one else to see what I’m seeing when I look in a mirror.”

Do intelligent people worry about body image?

intelligent guy with body image issues

Intelligent people keenly understand the impact that their physical presentation can have on their lives. From an early age, we all realize that people who look a certain way tend to get treated differently in certain situations. You don’t believe this to be a fact? Read Teachers Give Better Grades to More Attractive Students: Study.
As one gets older, it becomes more apparent that, say, a boy looks athletic and strong will be less likely to be bullied. A girl with nice skin, straight teeth and a slender body is more likely to be popular amongst her peers. A teen with piercings and tattoos may not be taken seriously by the coach of the debate team.

Anyone who thinks the surface is an illusion is wrong. It’s true that we should strive to pay less attention to surface presentation, but we also cannot ignore its effects.

I am no Einstein, but yes, I would consider myself an intelligent person. I do loathe what the world has become: a place where image is considered more important than humanity. I do however realize that if I presented myself without concern to the way I appeared to others, I might not have an easy time getting a job, a life partner, or have my grievances heard in court.

The danger is when you start obsessing about it. Forgetting who you are and relegating yourself to be just a body, when actually your body is just a vehicle that carries who you are.you are a soul

How do I make my parents understand my body image issues?

how do i tell my parents

The lack of support from parents is a complex issue. You should however consider involving your doctor too. He should be able to help you get through to them if you ask him to explain to them the impact and distress your condition is causing you.

It’s possible that you your body is perfectly OK. That doesn’t mean that you’re not unhappy about what you perceive about your body. If that’s the case, your doctor will certainly be able to help.

Sometimes the problem has practical aspects too. If you’re actually overweight for example, and you are still living with your parents, then you’re probably expected to eat whatever meals and snacks they provide, which may not be a healthy diet.  Your doctor can advise them about improving their diet or at least be more conscious to your health needs.

Where can I get help for body image issues?

One may read 5 Ways to Deal With Body Image Issues or  10 Steps to Positive Body Image to better understand where they need to be to start recovery. Although helpful, you cannot just read these articles and switch off your Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) button. Go talk to a therapist. If you are still living with your parents, talk to them and help them understand what you are going through.

Here is a helpful organization that deals with body image issues; take action to today!

USA – Association and Depression Association of America

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Outside USA



6 thoughts on “What’s It Like to Have Body Image Issues?

  1. This is a real problem today.i am a registered nurse for thirty years and the horrors that come from people who don’t realize that they are wonderful just like they are, results is psychological disorders like anorexia and bulimia. People today do not move enough. They do everything on line sitting in a chair. The acne issues can be helped with good skin cleansing, avoidance of foods that cause acne and in rare cases your doctor can give you antibiotics. However, wt. loss, acne, oor body image? Whatever, drugs are not the answer. We are living, breathing organisms and because we have a heart, mind and soul it really IS MORE IMPORTANT who we are not what our body looks like. Unfortunately, society tells us we must be thin, stylish, perfect per sey. Yet 99.9% of all
    Models in magnifies have had professional makeup artists and photographers and still their photos are touched up. I agree with all the above. Talk with your parents first is excellent advice but be proactive .if you do not like what weight you are, stay away from sugars and soda and I cannot say enough about the benefits of water. It will help your weight and your skin. You can find all natural remedies for everything on line. Just really tell yourself, because it’s true, that you are wonderful .

  2. Body Dysmorphia reflects our social ‘dysmorphia’ and as a therapist, I haven’t met a soul that didn’t have BDD in one for or another. This is not a personal disorder, it is part of our social disorder and I’d like to suggest to the people who are conscious of their ‘perceived or imaginary flaws’ that they are the lucky ones, they still have bodies that refuse to be tuned out and turned into artificial and fictitious, human ‘formats’ . They are alive in the truest sense of the word. Society needs us to be body and mind dysmorphic so we fit in to the social scheme.

    Take a good, hard look around you. Turn the “flaws flashlight” away from yourself and shine it on your “society”, review the entire process of socialisation and surreptitious dehumanisation – training you out of a trust in your inner intelligence and natural growth and learning rhythms. Certainly, we are not a species on the brink of “self-annihilation” because our society and social scripts have been successful, we are an endangered species and planet because of them!

    It is time to shine a light on the corruption of humanity through social formatting. Gender discrimination. BDD. Human trafficking. Racism. Crimes against humanity. Economic inequity. False facts, biased statistics, and fundamental misinformation about what it is to be human, spread through a prejudicial educational system. Have you checked the standard dictionary definition of ‘human being’?

    Perhaps, you might want to check out my book, “HUMAN INTERRUPTED: The Social Crime Against Humanity.”

    You, gentle, and rightfully frustrated, human being are not the problem. Society is.

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