In a world where looks and image are everything, imagine feeling too ugly to even step out the front door, so ugly that you wanted to kill yourself.

It might sound ridiculous, but for victims of a little known mental illness, it’s a daily reality. No-one knows what causes Body Dysmorphic Disorder but it leaves once healthy teenagers crippled by their imagined ugliness.

(2001)
Reporter: Tara Brown, Producer: Kathryn Bonella




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30 Comments

Angela Lofquist · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

The hard thing about this disorder is that I can't talk about it.  I'm not fishing for compliments at all.  I really feel that way, but saying it out loud is embarrassing and annoying and makes me feel whiny.  So it's bottled up and it builds.  It's awful.  When people hear me say things like I look like my arms have water floaties on them or that my body is shaped really weird, they look at me like I'm crazy and I truly don't understand why.  I wish I could see what other people could see.  I'd give anything to stop the negative self talk and really see myself and believe people's kind words.  I'm different- I avoid mirrors all day every day.  I hate my picture being taken.  I hate walking by windows and turn the opposite way because even if I feel okay in the moment, if I see my reflection, I feel physically sick.  I wish there were a cure, but I can't imagine anything stopping these thoughts and perception.

A So · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

This is a very serious disorder and whether one is "truly" unattractive or not is irrelevant entirely. The obsessive nature of the disorder is the underlying issue. Whether your rituals/compulsions/etc interfere with your daily functioning is I think the marker of BDD. I'm not an expert, but I know many typically "unattractive" people whose lives do not revolve around their looks. You trying to surmise whether or not you have the disorder based on the supposed actuality of your "ugliness" is not the way to look at it. 

Whyntir · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

I worry I may have BDD, I'm not sure, but I find myself always looking at myself in reflective surfaces, and I'm never nice. I keep seeing myself as fat. I will look in the mirror and panic if my thighs look large. Once, i even sobbed because I gained an inch around my waist. I sometimes feel like I'm losing my mind, and once dreamed of liposuction, but looking into surgery, I don't have the money, and am not willing to risk the complications. Instead, I have turned to gyms and work out five days a week and keep a strict calorie count. I don't know if I'm BDD, Anorexic, or both!

ct thorste · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

interesting question….I never even thought about that

Faceless Misery · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

i hate it when people tell me im handsome, no im not my face is fucked up, i hate the acne,hate how my chin looks, hate my ears, my cheeks r just big and fat. my face is just boring and ugly. For some reason my BDD does go down when i go outside because i cant see what i look like. people just dont understand how people feel with BDD.

KatyFlo · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

It can be as debilitating as here, its this debilitating for me, I guess like with everything it varies in severity. I can have panic attacks out in public if I think people are looking at me so I don't go out. I sit in these four walls all day, I will not even answer the door to the postman, I live in a shared house and I will not even use the toilet when I need it if I can hear that there are people moving about in the house because I can't let anyone see me.

GeorgeGkarasPro · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

i totally understand what you mean

Rex Hunter · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

The fact that it is unnoticeable must be really hard. How have you managed to deal with your condition? If you don't mind me asking?

Ryan Dumas · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

I'm sure this experience made them extremely uncomfortable. As a person with BDD, I can tell you that it is common to be able to disguise feelings of discomfort to the point where they are unnoticeable. I've had this disorder since I was a young teen and probably before. I'm 31 now and people would consider me completely normal, even though everyday interactions are extremely distressful. I see this as an opportunity for relief, as problems are easier to deal with once they are confronted.

UniverseSix Hit · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

I suffer from this from time to time. I guess some people I know on youtube will see this but I don't care, it's a horrible thing to go through and I go through it daily. Every day can be a challenge but I try my best. This disorder is very real and I can relate and empathize with anyone who suffers from it as well.

Bethany Gordon · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

They're all really brave to agree to be filmed.

Epsita Sandhu · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

The people who volunteered for this documentary managed to give consent to be captured by a camera, something that could be relatively hard for those who perceive themselves as ugly, I guess I could pin that up as a milestone towards recovery. I wonder if watching themselves on reel is the same experience as watching their reflection (which in any case is flipped ) Any insights?

andy tambling · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

im like this omg

beefee22 · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

well, I think they actually know that it's just in their mind. At least I know it's irrational and that it's just my perception. But..think of it as an ugly mask on your face that's only visible to you. You would feel like others can see it too, and at the same time you would know that they can't. it's a battle between your rational side and the disorder. sadly, the disorder wins most of the times.

DayVideo · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

I dont want to use you like a punk ass bitch but I have to do this for a project in school and with all respect to you can i do a interveiw type thing with you? I can make it fake as shit like what i was going to do but a 20 minute presentation with this would be so much easier i have accounts of people that have this.

DayVideo · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

But you recognize that.

Rex Hunter · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

If they don't want to be seen, why are they comfortable going on national television?

White Lotus · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

They all look beautifull to me :-/ Maybe they should meet other people like them in order to see by themselves that it's all in their mind…

lomekopolo · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

wow I have an opposite of this…the delusion that I am the most good-looking among all while the reality I am not.

David C · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

she has a smart and cute face!

Dave Wake · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

that's my exact situation as well. I've been suffering for 6 years and just yesterday I found out what I really have.

wordgrrl71 · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

Wow, I don't think that's accurate. Perhaps for you, but there is nothing wrong with his looks. Kind of mean to post that, don't you think? Comments like that fuel the disorder.

Scarlet Nightingale · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

yes, you are not alone. Always believe that you are strong, you are brave and beautiful no matter what you think yourself to be.

drugjail · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

She looks so cute. Beautiful face

Shelby Taylor · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

bdd is tough because i just feel like i'm ugly/not worthy of anything. i look like a creature, and whenever someone tells me otherwise i think they're lying to me…

Zachary · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

Solution: move to Saudi Arabia

Alphlond · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

I don't have this disorder, because I know I'm ugly, and I'm not imagining it. People lie to me and say that I'm handsome, which I'm definitely not. I can't understand why people can't just be honest with me. If I had my way, there would be no mirrors in my house, or anyplace I went to. I can't stand looking in the mirror.

rokman5000 · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

same here.

colorprotector · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

me too 🙁

DeathByTarantula · August 13, 2018 at 1:33 am

I have a strange form of this disorder because it doesn't really affect my face. I'm more worried about how my torso looks. I have resistant gynecomastia, acne scars from cystic acne on my chest and scarring from having some moles removed. But over time the scars have faded a bit. I've opted to see a plastic surgeon to revise the non acne scars and correct the gynecomastia. People will say this won't help but I think I've come leaps and bounds since it was about 7 'corrections' being considered.

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