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The Ugliness Within: Coping with Body Dysmorphic Disorder

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Today the scale reads 210. Absolutely pathetic. Ten pounds away from reaching my goal of 220. What am I doing wrong? Huh? I’ve eaten all the right things ⎯ consumed the best protein shakes.

But still, I’m disgusting looking. Still too weak to compete in the power lifting contest at the end of the month. Too small to attract a “Kate Upton type.”

What do I do? How do I fix the hideousness that stands before me in the mirror? I need to put on more muscle. Decrease my body fat from 3 to 1 percent. And increase the vascularity in my biceps.

It’s all starting to become clear now. What if I up the dosage of my weekly steroid regimen? That should do it, right? I’m already at 1500 mg of Deca a week ⎯ 4 times more then the recommended amount. Another 250 mg should do the trick.

That’s the ticket. I love watching as the “magic liquid” courses it’s way through my blood stream, making me invincible to anyone and anything.

The feeling is almost instantaneous. I feel pumped ⎯ a sudden burst of energy as I bust out 30 bicep curls in front of my mirror. Watching as the ugly deformity that is my body, be replaced by a bronze Adonis that every woman will fight over.

Here we go. Just a few more reps should do the trick.

One. Two. Three.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a type of somatoform disorder ⎯ a mental illness in which a person is preoccupied with an imagined physical defect or a minor defect that others cannot see.

According to WebMD, individuals who suffer from BDD see themselves as “ugly” and tend to shy away from social gatherings and sometimes turn to plastic surgery or develop an eating disorder as a way to improve their body image.

While some people with BDD might turn to bulimia or anorexia to lose weight in order to improve their appearance, others might do the exact opposite and turn to using weight gain supplements ⎯ like anabolic steroids ⎯ in order to tact on muscle mass and increase overall muscle tone.

BDD sufferers may also perform some type of compulsive or repetitive behaviors to try to hide or improve their flaws, although these behaviors only give them temporary relief.

Examples of these routines are as follows:

• Comparing specific body parts to others’ appearance.
• Seeking surgery.
• Checking in the mirror.
• Avoiding the mirror.
• Excessive exercise.
• Excessive grooming.

According to MayoClinic, if you are someone who shows signs of BDD, then you are going to want to seek help by visiting your doctor or a mental health professional. Body dysmorphic disorder isn’t something that goes away on its own. And if untreated, it may get increasingly worse over time and lead to suicidal thoughts and behavior.

Love yourself.

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