Most of us have something we don’t like about our appearance — a crooked nose, an uneven smile, or eyes that are too large or too small. And though we may fret about our imperfections, they don’t interfere with our daily lives. But people who have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) think about their real or perceived flaws for hours each day. They can’t control their negative thoughts and don’t believe people who tell them that they look fine. Their thoughts may cause severe emotional distress and interfere with their daily functioning. They may miss work or school, avoid social situations and isolate themselves, even from family and friends, because they fear others will notice their flaws.
BDD has not even spared actress Ileana D’Cruz. She opened up about it in an interview and said, “I’ve been dealing with a lot of issues. [I’m dealing with] a lot of issues as far as my body is concerned. I know I’ve been dealing with it for over 10-12 years, maybe even 15, but I never really knew what it was. I finally went to somebody a few months ago and she sort of helped me out.” She also added, “I think it’s important for everybody to get themselves checked – mental health is something that’s very important. Anxiety has been a big problem for me, but I think my biggest struggle has been depression. For me, my depression doesn’t revolve around my work, it revolves around me personally.”
She also mentioned that how in the glamour industry, everyone especially women have the pressure to look p-e-r-f-e-c-t all the time. She said, “If I can be completely honest with you, I had a really shit day today. I woke up and I was feeling shitty, and I didn’t know what to do, and I sent [a friend] a message saying ‘I really need a friend, can I call you?’ She was at work, but she thankfully answered the phone and spoke to me for an hour, then I told her I have to go get ready because I’m going to be live on camera in like 2 hours. They’re going to see me looking like shit! I may be lucky that I have a job where I’m supposed to look amazing, I’m supposed to look like there’s nothing going on with my life, so it sort of pulls me out of it and distracts me. But a distraction is just a temporary stop on it, it’s not a final something.”
On being diagnosed with BDD by her therapist, she said “I didn’t know what that meant. I googled it and I said ‘makes sense.’ You get fixated on one body part, and you’re just obsessed with how much you don’t like it. That’s pretty much it for me. But I’ve reached a point where it’s like – I mean, it’s who I am. The people you see on magazine covers, they’re touched up, slimmed down, covered up. And there’s no such thing as a perfect body type – they go on about how the hourglass is the perfect body type, then the next year it’ll be the athletic type. What are you going to do, change your body type every year? Just be happy, be healthy.”