Nicole’s Story

After I was diagnosed with BDD, along with panic disorder, I was put on an anti-depressant that has saved me. No, it doesn’t take away the thoughts about my nose or body; no, it doesn’t give me hallucinations that I am a supermodel. It helps me to think clearly, and not dwell on my ‘physical problems’.

My name is Nicole and I am 20 years old. I was diagnosed with BDD a little over a year ago and have spent my time since then trying to learn about this disorder. When I was first told I had it I felt relieved that there was a name for what was wrong with me, but I also felt sad because there was definitely something wrong with me. I remember when I was only nine years old I thought about cutting off my nose because it was too big. I was already tired of the snide remarks from friends and even strangers about how big it was.

“On school picture days I would come home bawling because I knew that my nose would be posted everywhere”

When I was in junior high, my self-esteem issues went far beyond the average teenager angst. I couldn’t bear to look in a mirror or have my picture taken. On school picture days I would come home bawling, because I knew that my nose would be posted everywhere. I wore a windbreaker with long sleeves so I could use the sleeve to cover up my face. It made me feel better. In high school I discovered my knack for humour. I made fun of myself before anyone else could get to me first. Deep inside the demon was ready to come bursting out. I suffered from anorexia for years, as well as addiction to painkillers.

After I was diagnosed with BDD, along with panic disorder, I was put on an anti-depressant that has saved me. No, it doesn’t take away the thoughts about my nose or body; no, it doesn’t give me hallucinations that I am a supermodel. It helps me to think clearly, and not dwell on my ‘physical problems’. I know that no matter how many times people might tell someone with BDD that you are beautiful, you still won’t believe it. And what if you were absolutely the most gorgeous woman on the inside? Doesn’t that matter too? That’s what I try to tell myself each and every day. It’s sort of my mantra now. I’ve noticed that, once I stopped openly complaining about the way I looked, I began to receive more positive vibes from people. I am still not ready to be photographed, but hopefully with time and my therapy I will make that giant step!

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The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation. Charity no. 1153753.