14 Brutal Truths About Loving Someone With Body Dysmorphic Disorder

It's way more than a simple insecurity.

14 Brutal Truths About Loving Someone With Body Dysmorphic Disorder getty

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is far more than just something someone is insecure about, but rather an obsession of a flaw — real or imagined — that they become fixated upon. It can be their nose, a birthmark, scar, weight, hair, legs, anything. 

What they see in the mirror isn’t an accurate depiction of reality, but rather a reality they can't help but see. It causes emotional distress and consumes their everyday thoughts. It’s constantly looking in the mirror and seeing what is wrong with them. And no matter how many times you tell them "you look fine," they don’t, they can't, believe you. 


People with body dysmorphia would go as far as cosmetic surgery to fix what they think is wrong with them. They have this skewed view that if they were to change that one thing, they’d be happy. It’s social anxiety. It’s OCD. It’s depression. It’s eating disorders. 

RELATED: The Fattest Skinny Girl: What It's Like Living With Body Dysmorphia

What happens when you love someone with BDD? Is it possible to love someone who doesn’t love themselves completely? Can you save them? Should you try to?

1. They aren’t going to believe your compliments. 

You’ll say they look fine but in their head, they hear 'not fine enough.' You could always be better. They are just saying that. 


2. But still, don’t stop saying it.

Just keep complimenting them. One day, they will believe it.  

3. Their validation and worth are defined through the eyes of others.

They live for others saying nice things about them and bringing them up. 

4. They are their own worst enemies.

They quickly will bring themselves down.  

5. They will fixate on what they are insecure about.

Constantly shuffling or doing double takes, that's their life. It’s like if they look enough, one day that thing will go away. 

6. Don’t be afraid to call them out of it.

Just tell them when they are fixating upon something too much. Make them aware. When my ex would see me picking my cuticles, he'd grab my hands and not let me. Then we’d talk through whatever was going through my head at the moment.  


7. When they look in the mirror they aren’t worshipping their reflection.

You may think they look in the mirror too much and that could leave you to believe they are conceited. They envy people who are conceited.

RELATED: 16 Signs You (Or Someone You Love) Has Body Dysmorphic Disorder

8. Rather, they're tearing themselves apart on the inside.

If you heard the voice inside their head of constant belittlement you’d feel sorry. 

9. They probably have a secret they’ll share with you when they are ready.

Everyone has a reason they are the way they are. Sometimes those origin stories aren't the best. But in time you’ll hear it all. 

10. Just listen. 

Open your ears and your heart to them.


11. You can’t make them happy with themselves completely.

You can’t go into this thinking you can change them. 

12. But you can make them happier.

You can make them happier than they’ve ever been.  

13. Because like anyone, they want to be loved.

Accept them as they are and that’s the best thing you can do. 


14. And sometimes it takes someone loving them to show them how to love themselves.

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Kirsten Corley strives to help readers gain an understanding of intense emotions, like heartbreak and getting through it. Follow her on Facebook.