Robyn bravely shares her story. Starting with bullying in childhood, the development of the condition in her adolescence through to diagnosis and recovery.
“If you have Body Dysmorphic Disorder or if you have ever struggled with body image, I can’t emphasise enough, that you are more than what you see, you are more than your perception of appearance. You have other aspects of your life that make you up as a human being… There is help, there is support”
Meet Robyn Stern: She is a licensed clinical social worker in the United States specializing in treating BDD. She was formally diagnosed with BDD when she was 22 years old after several years of not knowing what was wrong with her, misdiagnosed with depression and anxiety and struggling to maintain day to day tasks and functioning.
“Life as a I knew it failed to exist, as my thoughts about my appearance consumed me and took away all the joy in my life; (family, friends, and school). The thoughts of my appearance being faulty, led me to feel defective, different, and just not sure how to navigate the world on a day-to-day basis.”
Robyn accessed evidence-based treatment and utilized Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy as well as more intensive psychotherapy with a licensed therapist:
“I have learned that BDD and my physical appearance do not need to define me and how I choose to live each day. The work while challenging has given me a place in recovery, which has allowed me to give to other people. I am extremely enthusiastic about understanding the complexities of this disorder because it took so much life from me, but most importantly, I want to help others.”