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SheWasAll_'s avatar

What kind of methods exist to help my friend who I believe has severe body dysmorphic disorder?

Asked by SheWasAll_ (2033points) March 19th, 2011

One of my good friends is fully convinced that she is horribly obese. However, she weighs between 100 and 110 lbs and is only 4’10’’. She constantly is talking about how huge she is and it really upsets me. Mostly because it causes me to worry about her psychological health but also partly because it makes me question my body size (I’m 5’3’’ and about 190lbs). She honestly believes she is bigger than me and is required to wear a size 14 dress. Recently she started a sort of binge and purge weight loss regiment. All she eats (if she does) is junk food, such as oeros, fig newtons, gushers, cheetos, etc., and then tells herself that she must work out for a minimum of two hours after her binge. Does anyone know of any methods or “tricks” so to speak that I can do to make her realize that she is at a perfectly healthy weight and that she looks wonderful the way she is?

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7 Answers

ducky_dnl's avatar

I have BDD and anorexia. I’m 87 pounds and only 5 feet. There is really nothing you can do except trying to get her help. What helped me personally was going to the doctor and seeing on a piece a paper the too thin/normal/fat/obese weights and sizes. For my size I am supposed to be around 102. I’m 87 now from 83. What makes it harder for me though is I refused medication and I quit going to treatment centers. I have as I call them “mini-relapses”. I will start to catch myself falling back into old patterns from time to time (ie: spitting out chewed up food and eating just water, Take5 bars and a bag of hot fries). When I catch this behavior, I fix it quickly, even though it makes me depressed. All I can say is that it’s something your friend needs to decided on her own. She can either kill herself from BDD or get better. It’s all up to her.

JmacOroni's avatar

There aren’t any tricks. BDD consists of more than a mindset, it also includes compulsive behaviors, rituals, and obsessive thinking. If your friend truly has BDD (and an eating disorder, from the sounds of it), she should see a professional.
While your positive feedback and optimism are wonderful, and you’re a dear friend for trying… most people who truly suffer from BDD don’t really hear or comprehend the compliments that you pay. They may believe that you feel obligated to say such nice things because you are their friend, or simply because you’re a nice person. In worse scenarios, they may believe that their appearance is so offensive, that you say those things.. not because you even believe them… but because the “truth” (in their eyes) is so awful that no one would dare say it to another person.
Your friend needs professional help. Trust me, I speak from experience.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

What JmacOroni said is the best answer. Your friend needs professional help and the sooner the better.

jerv's avatar

Another vote for “Nothing you can do except get her to a doctor!”.

There are certain tings that cannot be cured, only mitigated. I will be Autistic forever, and your friend is also going to have issues with this for the rest of her life. @JmacOroni and @ducky_dnl will probably back me up when I say it won’t be easy for her either, but it’s the hand she was dealt.

janbb's avatar

Agree – she needs professional help.

SheWasAll_'s avatar

Thanks for the input folks. Sadly, I think it’s going to be a waiting game for awhile because she is no way ready to admit there’s an issue and/or that it requires professional aid.

mcsnazzy's avatar

You should definitly confron the person about it ina kind mannor. Maybe mention it to the parents. They should recive counselling because BDD will lead to an ED easily.

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