Felipe’s Story

Knowing that there is an illness with the very symptoms you have is the first step to recovery, I think.

Hi, my name is Felipe and I used to suffer from BDD and Depression. I don’t know how it started but I think it was at some point when I was between 13 and 15 years old. In my case I felt I had a problem with my speech. I couldn’t explain it to doctors; I knew I didn’t have a stutter or anything and there were times when I spoke normally – mainly when I was with my family. So my problem must be psychological.

“My parents thought it was just their teenage kid going through an undefined crisis”

I struggled on my own for about 6 years, and during this time I got low grades, had almost no social life, lacked the will to do anything, and didn’t attend school very often. In fact the only positive thing I can say about this period is that, while I stayed home, almost all my free time I spent reading, which is a good habit I still have. My parents thought it was just their teenage kid going through an undefined crisis or something, but didn’t think it was very important. Not even when their son remained in the car when they went out, remained in the hotel when they went travelling abroad, and had no social life.

One thing that helped me was Buddhism, and meditation. When I started doing meditation it hit me like a rock that life was very short, and I had to live it no matter what. So, still under the effects of BDD I started making the effort to go out, use the bus and underground, even though I still thought everyone was looking at me for being so utterly hideous and different from other people. Eventually I sought psychiatric help, and went on to have regular therapy. It’s helped me a lot. I’m taking an antidepressant, and it helps too. Knowing that there is an illness with the very symptoms you have is the first step to recovery, I think.

Thank you.

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The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation. Charity no. 1153753.