WHAT CAUSES BDD? CLUES TO AN UNSOLVED PUZZLE: PATIENTS’ PERSPECTIVES

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WHAT CAUSES BDD? CLUES TO AN UNSOLVED PUZZLE: PATIENTS’ PERSPECTIVES

Thursday, December 16, 2010 | 8:52 am

“I have no idea why I worry so much about how I look. I wish I

knew.”

Anne

Patients’ Perspectives

“This problem is chemical,” Bridget said. “I can’t think of any reason for these gut-wrenching worries about how I look. It must be from a chemical imbalance in my brain.” Alison’s explanation was quite different. “My mother is very pretty, and so is my sister,” she said. “I constantly tried to look like my older sister. She’s very feminine, and I idealized her. I wanted her nose, her long hair. I never accepted who I was. I was the ugly duckling, the odd-looking one. I was the runt of the litter.”

“I started worrying too much about my skin at a time when I was really stressed,” Caroline told me. “It began after I had to take a job working in a place I really didn’t want to work. And I started worrying that my rear end was too big after a guy in my class commented on my big ass. My father had also started drinking at the time. But I think these things were mostly triggers. I think my worries have deeper roots, like how I was always put down when I was growing up.”

“My father has bad skin,” Jamie said. “I look more like my father than like my mother. I worried my skin might end up like his.”

“Maybe I learned looks were important,” Brad told me. “My family stressed the importance of looks. We always had to look our best and be well-manicured no matter what…. Everyone paid lots of attention to my brother—he was the champ of the family and my father’s pet. I was always last on my parents’ list. … I was always very sensitive. I was always sensitive to criticism and rejection. I’m a perfectionist. I’ve always been hard on myself—since day one. I have high standards. My parents expected a lot from me. I was always the black sheep of the family.”

People with BDD have myriad and varied explanations for their symptoms. Some believe the cause is biological—perhaps a chemical imbalance in the brain. Others give a psychological explanation, citing their upbringing, identification with a particular person, or personality traits such as perfectionism or sensitivity to criticism or rejection. Others blame society’s emphasis on attractiveness. Some people attribute their symptoms to a comment or to stress in their lives at the time their concern began. Others have no explanation for their symptoms, but they search for one, trying to give their experience meaning. The explanations are varied and bear the stamp of each person’s unique autobiography.

This  topic—what causes BDD—is the most complex question in this book. At this time, BDD’s cause remains largely unexplored, and there are no definitive answers. This is the outermost edge of the BDD frontier. But even though we’re at the beginning of our search, our understanding of what causes BDD is steadily growing.

*165\204\8*

WHAT CAUSES BDD? CLUES TO AN UNSOLVED PUZZLE: PATIENTS’ PERSPECTIVES”I have no idea why I worry so much about how I look. I wish Iknew.”AnnePatients’ Perspectives”This problem is chemical,” Bridget said. “I can’t think of any reason for these gut-wrenching worries about how I look. It must be from a chemical imbalance in my brain.” Alison’s explanation was quite different. “My mother is very pretty, and so is my sister,” she said. “I constantly tried to look like my older sister. She’s very feminine, and I idealized her. I wanted her nose, her long hair. I never accepted who I was. I was the ugly duckling, the odd-looking one. I was the runt of the litter.””I started worrying too much about my skin at a time when I was really stressed,” Caroline told me. “It began after I had to take a job working in a place I really didn’t want to work. And I started worrying that my rear end was too big after a guy in my class commented on my big ass. My father had also started drinking at the time. But I think these things were mostly triggers. I think my worries have deeper roots, like how I was always put down when I was growing up.””My father has bad skin,” Jamie said. “I look more like my father than like my mother. I worried my skin might end up like his.””Maybe I learned looks were important,” Brad told me. “My family stressed the importance of looks. We always had to look our best and be well-manicured no matter what…. Everyone paid lots of attention to my brother—he was the champ of the family and my father’s pet. I was always last on my parents’ list. … I was always very sensitive. I was always sensitive to criticism and rejection. I’m a perfectionist. I’ve always been hard on myself—since day one. I have high standards. My parents expected a lot from me. I was always the black sheep of the family.”People with BDD have myriad and varied explanations for their symptoms. Some believe the cause is biological—perhaps a chemical imbalance in the brain. Others give a psychological explanation, citing their upbringing, identification with a particular person, or personality traits such as perfectionism or sensitivity to criticism or rejection. Others blame society’s emphasis on attractiveness. Some people attribute their symptoms to a comment or to stress in their lives at the time their concern began. Others have no explanation for their symptoms, but they search for one, trying to give their experience meaning. The explanations are varied and bear the stamp of each person’s unique autobiography.This  topic—what causes BDD—is the most complex question in this book. At this time, BDD’s cause remains largely unexplored, and there are no definitive answers. This is the outermost edge of the BDD frontier. But even though we’re at the beginning of our search, our understanding of what causes BDD is steadily growing.*165\204\8*

—admin
(posted in Anti Depressants-Sleeping Aid)

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