Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 12/06/12 - Pregnancy Wobble... Coping With Body Dysmorphia and the Changes to Your Body.

I had a bit of a break down recently. Tears, Tantrums, Hiding under the pillow, Thumping the bed... the whole shabang!

'Hormones!!' I hear you say? 'You never know what they will make you feel next. She must have been panicking about being a new mum again, or how she will cope...'


I looked in the mirror and I didn't like what I saw so I cried...... like a baby!

I have looked in the mirror everyday and have seen my ever growing bump and I like my bump it's not only happily round and now an obvious baby bump, it's quite small for 33wks so I've been quite lucky. BUT... My eyes have concentrated on my bump for ages now and I don't think I have even looked anywhere else for a good long while... SO when I glanced down below my lovely solid bump, I panicked... I actually heaved... I couldn't even look at it. It has been steadily growing and I had been completely unaware as to how bad it had actually gotten... I just couldn't look at it, my worst fear...

FAT!!!.....WOBBLE.... PODGE.... FLAB... The dreaded FATTY FATTY BUM BUM... My most hated chum....

Body Confidence is a big thing in today's world, if you are confident in yourself you can do ANYTHING! Without it, many struggle to even get out of bed.... this includes me. Many say to me 'but you are always so happy and confident and bubbly...' this is called A FRONT! This is how many men and women get through everyday life! This is how I have got through the last 10 years. This is how I covered up depression for so long... This is also how I got away with having an eating disorder for so long without it being noticed.

Body Dysmorphia is horrible, it can cause many problems, it can also be a killer. The smallest of comments from a passer by or a joke from a close friend at the wrong time, can cause the most horrendous consequences. Understanding Body Dysmorphia isn't easy. Many seem to have the perfect body to the naked eye... to their eyes however all they see are problems and issues that they need to solve. This causes a severe reaction and in most cases can lead to taking extreme measures to solve them.

I don't know how to explain BDD but here is an example....

I don't do Photo's that often. I hate them. During my biggest and longest battle with my body I really was struggling to understand my body as a whole. I was desperate to sort it out but needed an aim so after I had a course of Hypnotherapy with Jim at Tranzzzzformations and a few Vodkas, I talked myself into doing a photoshoot for The Hoff's birthday present with a friend (the lovely Adam) who was a photographer (adamreading.com). I was so proud of myself for doing it... but after time I tried not to look at them as I struggled to see the good points again. I still love a few of them and I try to look at them and remind myself that that is actually me... this was one of the photos he took...

This is what I saw before I got help and then again after when it came back to haunt me...
don't laugh my editing skills are minimal lol
In my head the last photo was me!! Where in real life the first one was.... I even struggled to look at the first photo whilst putting it up on here just now you know. I don't look like that now and it wasn't that long ago... And I'm scared I never will again! Which is what is killing me *holds back tears*.

Many celebs, men and women, suffer from body dysmorphia and we are always reading about how they take certain things to the extreme... plastic surgery, tanning, make up, exercise... but usually without the mention of the words Body Dysmorphia. We look, We laugh, We read into how and what they are doing to themselves but we rarely read WHY...

The causes of Body Dysmorphic Disorder are different for each person, usually a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Furthermore, mental and physical abuse, and emotional neglect, are life-experiences that can contribute to a person developing BDD. The onset of the symptoms of a mentally unhealthy preoccupation with body image occurs either in adolescence or in early adulthood, whence begins self-criticism of the personal appearance, from which develop atypical aesthetic-standards derived from the internal perceptual discrepancy between the person's ‘actual self’ and the ‘ideal self’.

The symptoms of body dysmorphia include psychological depression, social phobia, and obsessive compulsive disorder. The affected individual may become hostile towards family members for no reason.

Although originally a mental-illness diagnosis usually applied to women, Body Dysmorphic Disorder occurs equally among men and women, and occasionally in children and older adults. About 76% of parents think their child is either over conceited or simply lying about their condition. Approximately one to two percent (1–2%) of the world's population meets the diagnostic criteria for Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

Scary isn't it really, how something many shrug off as being vain, can effect so many silently beneath the surface.

Body Dysmorphia during Pregnancy is something people often over look. Many women get told to 'stop being stupid you are growing an extra person in there' or 'you are allowed to gain weight, you are eating for two'. This doesn't help someone with BDD they may say 'yeah I know, I am just being silly' but really deep down the process of weight gain and the over whelming body changes etc can cause all sorts of stress and panic, which can cause even more problems if they haven't got the means to control their behaviour. It's really hard to explain to people how difficult it is to fully see the me that others see, I only see what my head wants me to see and we all struggle with that in small doses but for some of us, we struggle to even see the smallest percentage of what that is... we always see more bad than good.

I know this obviously because I myself struggle quite badly and have been hiding it since day one of this pregnancy, because I've been trying so hard to ignore all successfully the symptoms and have so far been able to ignore it all and not react because I learnt how to control my reactions to the symptoms with help over the years... But I'm having a wobble, I know not to react to my feelings but it's how to control that whilst feeling like I've lost control....... let's face it, this is all about control and whilst pregnant only Mother Nature is in control!...... It's hard work!!.... she's such a cow sometimes!!!

So why am I having a wobble? 

I am in a very 'man' orientated world, I like football, watch football a lot, love the local pub and many, if not most, of my friends are male and we like to have what's called 'banter'. I can deal with banter, I can deal with jokes, I can deal with listening to their ideas of ideal women and looking at page 3 and pointing out why I think that particular woman is 'hot or not'... I love this world, I love my friends, it is and they are, very me... but I do often take things to heart deep down, I think everybody does in some ways. The way the mind works is amazing, one day I can laugh it off and bounce back a comment or two of my own but on other days I find myself thinking 'If they've picked up on that enough to make a joke... it must be a problem'

Whilst pregnant your hormones are stupidly over active EVERYONE knows this. Even the most laid back women take what usually goes over their heads to heart. I thought I was dealing with this really well until recently, every 'fat ass' joke, every 'oi fatty' chant just made me smile as I had longed for this baby so much and it was such a miracle I was even pregnant, I was loving it... I can't deal with it any more though! It's not their fault they are dealing with me like they would every other day in my life but I now know my mirror is not lying to me, it's not really my BDD coming out to play, I really am getting FAT!... which is understandable I am pregnant! BUT in turn has provoked a reaction enough to bring back my BDD to it's full form (not that it ever really left).

I am writing this post because the more I say it out loud, without saying to people face to face and crying like a girl, the more I understand it and the more I take in the changes I am facing and do something about it before it takes over my life again. I can cry as much as I like, I still have to deal with this for another 6-7 weeks and there after until I'm back to what I see as normal... but I'm not sure I understand what I actually see as normal as it seems to change from day to day.

What I do know is that I will need help after I give birth to do the weight loss properly.... and I am completely up for the challenge without taking matters to the extreme. This makes me proud as I have taken this as a huge step for me, before I'd have just stopped eating, made myself sick, taken some sort of pills... etc etc... all of which would never work!

I don't expect people to stop taking the mickey because I'm not stupid and they aren't meaning to be horrible. I don't even expect anybody to fully understand what BDD is and in fact fully expect this to, in true male banter fashion, provoke more jokes and jibes, but I do think that being sensitive about this subject is something most of them know I struggle with because they've been around me during my worst times, so I am pretty sure even if they don't read this they'll deep down know that the dirty look on my face and the tear in my eye whilst they make a comment, is well and truly venomous!... I'll get my own back eventually... and I'll do it In style!!

If you can relate to anything I have said in this little ramble of a post and are too struggling with Pregnancy and BDD or just BDD itself there are ways of getting help. I find myself reading the help and advice on the MIND website quite often as it reassures me about certain things I am doing. MIND are a fantastic charity who help with all sorts of mental health issues and they are here to help you. I know it is difficult to admit that this is a problem sometimes and the words 'Mental Health' sound so extreme but believe me you are not alone and even if you only slightly think you may have an issue...... there is no harm in looking is there??


  1. Sending hugs. Thank you for sharing. You've certainly opened my eyes to BDD xx

  2. I have the same problem, I have been dealing with it since I was 6 years old. I am not a shallow person, I don't care how other people looks.. I never buy expensive shoes or clothes or make up... but after giving birth I will have to take some antidepressants or have some plastic surgery or both .D I am really looking forward to being thin again.

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