Body Dysmorphic Disorder - I Want To Take My Face Off
I was 19. I remember waking up one morning, looking in the mirror and seeing my face covered in tiny scars and wrinkles. It was textured, leathery. I looked ten years older, and this had happened overnight.
I'm an identical twin, and when I called my sister across the country to tell her, she reported that the same had happened with her skin. We both felt hideous.
I began looking for every available remedy but nothing would help. I’d constantly ask my friends for reassurance and I’d ask strangers how old they thought I was. I began avoiding mirrors. When in the washroom I'd wash my hands in the dark. It became literally all I could think about.
When I was finally reunited with my twin at home, her face was indeed scarred and coarse just like mine, and she was just as obsessed. Looking at each other would make us feel worse about ourselves - we fuelled each other's own self-disgust.
Multiple doctors and dermatologists told us there was nothing wrong, but I knew they were just down-playing the severity to make us feel better.
One night about 4 months later, I found myself on a suicide hotline and telling someone I wanted to end my nightmare.
I went to counselling. I sat in a room crying while four counsellors sat around me asking how real this skin condition was to me. They told me that I had Body Dysmorphic Disorder and that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my skin- in fact they told me my skin was beautiful. My sister would soon find out that she had Body Dysmorphia as well.
I went on medication and went to weekly counselling sessions and within weeks my BDD started to go away. The medication saved my life.
BDD isn’t vanity - It’s a mental disorder and not enough people know about it. I want to share my story and let others know that it can be overcome.