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Topic : 07/04 Body Dysmorphia

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Created on : Friday, October 26, 2007, 02:52:19 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 10/30/07) When most women gaze in the mirror, they may bemoan a blemish here or a wrinkle there. Imagine staring at your reflection for over two hours and hating your face so much that you never leave the house. Dr. Phil’s guests say they are prisoners to body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a preoccupation with a real or imagined physical defect. Diana, 28, has been suffering with BDD for over 13 years. She’s undergone over 50 permanent make-up procedures –- eye liner, lips and eyebrows –- and didn’t leave her home for two years because she thinks she looks like a monster. Her mother, Guadalupe, and her sister, Liz, say it’s painful to watch Diana deteriorate before their eyes. Find out the shocking event Diana believes caused her condition. Then, 17 year-old Cheyenne used to win beauty pageants, but now believes that she’s an ugly, overweight girl with thunder thighs. She takes several hours to get ready for school in the morning, and constantly picks at her arm hair and lips. Her mom, Bobette, wonders if she’s the cause of her daughter’s bad feelings. Does Cheyenne really have BDD, or is something else affecting her? Share your thoughts here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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July 6, 2008, 3:18 pm CDT

07/04 Body Dysmorphia

Quote From: kittyk54

I've read about the disorder, on one level I understand it but then when I hear of specific cases I just dont understand. Diana? Did you see the photograph of her in the very low cut, red sequin formal dress? That doesn't appear to be a woman who thinks she is anything less than hot, hot, hot. I fully expected that it would be exposed that she does not in reality suffer from the condition but rather an extreme need for attention in a very self centered woman. After seeing the entire show I'm even more confused.

Suicide is the most selfish act a person can perform. the pain their loved ones would endure means nothing to them, or at least not enough to prevent them from ruining the lives of every family member.

I have to wonder if the suicide attempts don't come on the heels of a refusal to pay for one of her procedures.  It is a grave concern even if the attempts are not genuine acts of despair. Many suicides did not actually intend to die, their intention was to be saved but that intention failed.

Who do I feel most sorry forin all this? Diana's sister. You can tell she loves her sister but she's had enough. You know that the mother is completely engrossed with her other daughter as we are when one child is in trouble. I  hope Mom hasn't forgotten that there are two daughters. And am glad for the therapy offered to Diana, whether she has dysmorphia or a different ailment, the family deserves to live without this burden.

“The family deserves to live without this burden.”  Your last sentence absolutely shocks me!  Body dismorphia is a mentally distorted self-perception that eats away at every thought and feeling about yourself.  It controls the thoughts, actions, and relationships of ones life.  Yes, it affects everyone around the individual that is suffering body dysmorphia just as alcoholism, a drug or gambling addiction, or anything for that matter.  It is definitely not a mental condition that is enjoyable nor one that any person would actively seek out to obtain.  To say that this family does not deserve to live with this burden is to say that they should not have to have such a daughter/sister.  In an ideal world, there should be no burdens at all however this is not reality.  Suicide is a very serious topic and should not be considered anything less.  One has to remember that if someone is seriously contemplating suicide, there is an internal turmoil that is occurring – and no one person can judge whether it is valid or not.  Each person handles situations and emotions differently and the effects of these overwhelming feelings/emotions vary from person to person.  To say that it is “the most selfish act a person can perform” is not acknowledging the underlying factor of the horrible anguish and an overwhelming emotional tornado that has erupted within that individual.  That individual is not mentally sound at that time for whatever the reason and are not capable of thinking rationally or clearly but are desperate to find a solution or has given up on their own capabilities as a person.  Suicide by all means is not the answer, I agree.  I also agree that the effects of suicide on one’s family are horrendous however, rather than passing judgment it must be remembered that the one contemplating suicide does not currently have the internal or external resources to implement logic and rationale.

July 6, 2008, 3:38 pm CDT

Be proud

Quote From: zack67


  As someone who suffer's from this , we are not lazy or looking for a compliment.

  That to me is the mos frustrating part of havind BDD,   I have been called conceited , a snob,you name it and  I have been called it.

   Until you walk a day in our shoe's, you have no Idea how much we suffer.

   A also had childhood trauma, and even in Therapy it is still hard to deal with it.

   I don't take compliment's very easy at all, and I am not out there asking for them, but I know the anxiety that I have is real and I am working on it.

   Believe me , we know that we have it good and there are so many people with worse problem' and tha just make's us feel worse.

   The reason we don't tell alot of people , is because of response' like yours.

   I truly believed the first woman, but the second girl  , I  did not - We wound never put ourselves out there like you do for  a Pagant, I do think she has a problem, thinking the only thing good about her is her look' s

and that is something she will have to get help for.

   But in " NO WAY  is it BDD!!

   Read about, before you make fun of some one.


  From someone who suffer's from BDD , I just hate it when people think we are conceited or don't realize all the Bad situation's there, but making fun of us, it is like being back in Highschool.

  As my Nana alway's said; " I you can't say anything nice about someone , then don't say anything"

Again until you walk our shoe's  , don't be the first to cast a stone.  Read about it first.


Hi, Zach67!  I agree with what you say and even about the show (the first lady “Diana” and the second young beauty pageant).   Doesn’t it seem odd that so many think we are seeking compliments and attention when in reality we shy away from attention because any that we receive we think is actually focused on all the negatives rather than the positives.  And as for receiving compliments, people seem to think we crave and desire them yet in reality when we receive them, we think they are merely lies.  Well, at least this is from my own experience before I received the wonderful therapy that I have.  I agree completely with you when you say until you have walked in my shoes, do not judge me. 

Congratulations to you on your wonderful determination to seek support and to work so hard on achieving happiness with yourself!

July 7, 2008, 7:35 am CDT


Quote From: prettynpinkk


  Dear , Dr. Phil   or Anyone reading



I think  i may have body dismorfia ( sorry i don't know how to spell that well). I am 27 year years old. I have a skin disorder called hairy nevi.   70% of by body is covered with moles, they look like birth marks so thats what i call them. I also have one big birthmark from my knee to a inch away from my belly button ( in the front), and from the back of my knee till the middleof my back is all brown birthmark. And it does'nt stop there, from 4 months old till 6 years old i went through 11 surgreys, which resulted in half of my thighs to be ALL scar, thick scar that looks like freddy cougar. I have never had a boy friend, i don't trust anyone, and i have no friends. I have lost my son 3 years ago and have'nt seen him, i hear about him though because my mom has him. I tried going to schoool and had a perfect attendence record until i quit after 8months due to anixty. I feel like killing myself everyday , i have over dosed on pain pills 3 times 3 yars ago. I also have depression, learning disablities, personality disorder, and cronic anixty at times. i have not seen a doctor in about 3 years because i don't trust any of them, it's not that there not good doctors but if i can not articulate whats going on in my head how can anyone help.


I am fixated on going on the Dr. Phil show, i have e-mail s 5 times in the last 5 months, i ahve video taped my body, and also mail some pictures. I just want to be there for my son, but i know my mom will not let me see if unless i'm in school and working for at least a year or two. Ifit was that easy i would. I have never had a job over 3 days. I think my body and how i feel about my body is the BIGGEST thing that is effecting my life, i know everything would calm down tremdously if i could calm this body dismorfic thingi have going on. 



I am renting a beautiful 4 bedroom town house right now for a GREAT price, i am sub letting 3 rooms out while i take the basement. i am making about $1000 a month added on to my $1000 disablity cheque. My goal is to go see Dr. Frank Lawlis at the PNP clinic in dallas. This is my thing on that, i ahve been doing it now for months, and have no money saved up, i have gain a new adiction and that is shopping, i have to shop for clothes, acupuciture, things for my house, pedicures, manicure, and thing likem y hair. In calm down my anixty to live in a nice home, and dress in nice clothes so i can blend in as much as i can with everyone else. I hope if i ever go to this clinc that he can talk to Dr. phil for me, see Dr. Phil came out right after i had my son, he is my mentor , and i have watched about 85% of his shows. I have learned alot how to articlate myself , and i own that to dr. Phil, theres been things in my head that i could never get out and he on MANY MANY occians helped me to get them out. I LITERATLY do not trust anyone in this world to help me. I am scared it will be too late, i am not saying that for attention, i am trying really hard to stay postive for my some my the racing thoughts are getting worse , i feel like cuting myslef and proberly would if i was'nt a baby.


I have heard that you can not see dr. Phil if you were diaignosed by another doctor, does anyone know if that is trues. i know with A.D.D (which i also have since four), you have to get assessed every 3-4 years. I just DESPRETELY want to live a productive life, and be a mother to my son.




to pretty i fell sorry for you  u shurd trust guy i stll dont have a girl friend you seem like a nice girl u need a guy in your life ok thats to bad about your sons 
July 7, 2008, 10:13 pm CDT

I read you loud and clear again...

Quote From: shadycat1

 Maybe you would, I don't know,
But then maybe you would "Dumb Down ", maybe you would become a self centred jerk, maybe you would decide that NOW that you were "Good Looking ", you no longer needed to use your head.
Personally, and maybe its just me, intelligence means more to me than looks, buy hey tha's just my opinion, but I'm sure there are other women even here who would agree to that.

No, I would NOT do any of those things.  I have been on the "bad side" so I could and would have compassion on those rejected by society as "ugly". 


If I had them, combined with all that I DO got, I COULD RULE THE WORLD!!!

Would you like me to email you a photgraph of myself I'm curious as to what you might think or say?

July 9, 2008, 8:36 am CDT answer finally!

I was really taken by this show (seeing the repeat, missed the first round) and how it fits  my life and what I have struggled my entire life with! I had a horrible childhood of teasing and abuse from classmates that left me unable to see my face in the mirror at all.  I cannot even put it together, its as though its blank.  I have struggled with my body and looks and have been driven to depression and even suicidal thoughts many times growing up.   Now as a mom and wife i still struggle but deal with it best i can.  I hope to learn more of this disorder and maybe can find help in my area.

thank you Dr Phil for bringing this to light and making it known about this disorder!!!
July 9, 2008, 1:14 pm CDT

To the ladies on the show

 OMG - You are both incredibly beautiful!

I really hope by the time I have seen this repeated that you both have been able to be healed from this affliction. You don't need cosmetic makeup or to obses over anything.

I just wanted to post this cause I know you can hear from people who know you and think they are just being nice, you don't know me and I'm not just being nice. you are both very very attractive and Ihope you have or will come to know that.

Good luckand don't hurt yourselves!
July 9, 2008, 4:04 pm CDT

Body Dysmorphia

I always thought I was just crazy for the thoughts I have about myself.  Everyone tells me how beautiful I am but when I look in the mirror I can pick myself apart piece by piece, although I know that I am a attractive person in a whole, I can look at the little parts and be disgusted.  I always wondered if there was some kind of therapy.   Thanks Dr. Phil and the women that came on this show. 
July 11, 2008, 11:08 am CDT

I wouldn't mind.............................

Quote From: cndrlla understand this, I guess you have to relate it like so: how would you feel if you had no boobs?


Men feel about their hair how we women feel about our boobs.


Shallow, tough, not fair.....but true, nevertheless.

I wouldn't mind if I was flat chested instead. It doesn't define who I am as a person. As a matter of fact, I have a sister who is completely flat chested and she drips pure sex appeal. Men seem to drop at her feet, it obviously has nothing to do with her bust size. Also, women who are smaller busted can wear clothing that us larger busted women cannot. There are many blouses that I would have loved to wear but am not able to because I would look sleazy instead of cute. And when it comes to baldness in men, if it was such a terrible and unattractive look then why are so many men shaving their heads nowadays? It just doesn't matter to me. But I know so many men that have huge hang ups over it. I wish they could realize that it doesn't make a difference to most of us women. You have to admit that just letting it be natural looks MUCH better than the comb-over that so many men are famous for. Look at Donald Trump, all of that money and the ugliest hairdo that I have ever seen! You would think that he could at the very least pay for implants if he is so worried and vain about it. He must spend a small fortune on hairspray alone! I just wish they would relax about it, I don't believe that it bothers as many women as they think it does. It's just something that I have never been able to understand. Believe me, there are so many other more important things that a lot of them to work on instead of their hair, like personality, kindness,  knowing how to kiss properly, etc. the list could go on. It would be a lot worse if a man has a full head of hair and can't kiss his way out of a box! Yuck!
July 11, 2008, 11:15 am CDT

Life is not fair................................

Quote From: cndrlla

Life is just not fair sometimes....and the government has no rhyme or reason for the benefits bestowed upon some people...they just know how to play the system!
Boy, that is an understatement! I know people who know exactly how to abuse the system and it sickens me. I don't know how to do it but I guess that's because I don't have a criminal mind. My brain just doesn't work that way! And the government? Again you are right, it makes a person wonder how they come to the conclusions that they do. I will never figure this one out! On the other hand, I am fed up with "life not being fair"! It seems that my husband and I are always the ones who wind up with the short end of the stick and some people that we know who are not of the highest moral character always come out on top. Just a little fed up here!
July 13, 2008, 11:23 am CDT

I could have had it but fought it!

Watching your show on this topic was extremely fascinating to me.  It brought memories of my own mother, and to this day, is still so adamant about looks.  From when I was growing up she would point out my skin breaking out, my overly thinness then later on it was my neck had too many wrinkles and if I gained a few pounds she would not hesitate to say "how much do you weigh" which meant I was gaining weight.  I am 5'6" and 133 lbs and fight everday to maintain my weight with exercise and trying to watch what I eat.  At 52 yrs. it is a job each day but I have been doing it my whole life because in my mind I have to look a certain way.  However, along the way I realized how shallow and negative my mother is and only do what I can do to stay looking relatively good without sacrificying my heath i.e., plenty of exercise which I have done for over 25 years consistently.  My point is I no longer let my mother's opinion matter because she really does not know any better nor does she think before she speaks.  I have learned to ignore her and made a conscious decision years ago that I would not live anywhere near her due to her poisinous behavior.  Now of course my mother has been diagnosed as depressed and she is mentally ill but how convenient because any time I might bring up things she used to say very conveniently she denies it or does not remember doing what she did when I was younger.  In any event I could have very easily fell into the trap that Diana has been suffering from but luckily years ago I took the advice of a psycologist who met my mother in one session and from thereon told me even though she is my mother I need to stay away from her due to her destructive behaviour.  Needless to say I listened and took that advice and realized to myself that it is nice to look presentable and people compliment you now and then but basically our bodies are just shells that we are given.  Unlike my mother who never developed her inner self and was ugly to me (even though everyone thought she was beautiful on the outside) I truly learned what beauty is and even the ugliest people I have met have become some of the most beautiful people by knowing who they are.  It is amazing how appearances change when you get down to someone's heart.  These girls I believe never learned to develop their personalities and therefore try to strive on their looks and in my mind there are some aesthetically beautiful people with the ugliest personalities which in turn, in my mind, they do not look so good to me on the outside because of what they project from within the inside.
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