Ep. 2 - Your Brain on BDD: The Deep-Dive on what's happening happening in your head (The Body Dysmorphia Recovery Podcast)

July 12th, 2022

Welcome back to the Body Dysmorphia Recovery Podcast!

This blog post includes a transcript of an episode of the Body Dysmorphia Recovery Podcast. To listen to the full episode, click the link here.

 

[00:00:00] Doug: If you feel that body image issues have too much of an impact in your life, if you try and fail regularly to be kind to that image of yourself in the mirror, if just looking at a photo of yourself makes you feel physically terrible, or if all you want to do is be able to love yourself, lean in my friend and get excited.

This is your invitation to a life where you can love your body. Where body image issues don’t control you, where you can feel at peace with how you look and where you can live without that negative self talk draining you every day. This isn’t fiction. It’s a reality that thousands of people have already reached.

If you like this show, you’ll love the powerful resource that’s helping people get to that point. It’s my elite hypnosis audio, The Miracle Mirror. This hypnosis is designed to help you heal that relationship with your reflection, to let go of critical and damaging self-talk, and to learn to love your body [00:01:00] again. So much so that this change might just feel miraculous.

This audio is the perfect next step to being free from that body image struggle once and for all. Once you get your audio of the miracle mirror, you don’t have to dodge your reflection anymore or cringe and apologize every time the front camera turns on. This audio will help you start to heal how you feel about your reflection, and it will help you get those issues out of your life for good.

You can get your miracle mirror audio by going to anywherehypnosis.com. That’s anywherehypnosis.com. Right on the homepage, you’ll see right away where you can get your miracle mirror audio right now. And I’m serious about that. Right now. Pause this podcast and go get your audio today.

Don’t worry, I’ll still be here when you get back. Go to anywherehypnosis.com and get that today because it’s completely free. And this will change how you feel about your reflection for good. Test this audio for yourself, because you’ll never know how [00:02:00] just effective this will be until you see the changes in your own life.

Again, that’s anywherehypnosis.com. One more time, anywherehypnosis.com. Now on with the show.

 (INTRO)

[00:02:11] Doug: This is the body dysmorphia recovery podcast, where we explore powerful resources to help you heal body dysmorphia and the harmful eating patterns and help you live your normal life after BDD. Even better, we’re doing it without waiting weeks or even months to get treatment. My name is Doug Sands and I’m your body dysmorphia hypnotist.

On this show, you’re getting cutting edge methods to wipe out BDD once and for all. You’re also getting interviews with leading treatment experts for BDD, body image issues, and disordered eating. We’re giving you tools to work through all areas of body dysmorphia and to get it out of your life once and for all.

Get ready my friend, because this show may change your life for good. Let’s get started.[00:03:00]

 (MAIN)

[00:03:03] Doug: Welcome back to the body dysmorphia recovery podcast. My name is Doug Sands, I’m the hypnotist and the host of this show. And in this episode, we’re talking about the science of body dysmorphia. Specifically, what’s actually going on in your head when you have this disorder. We’re exploring all that we as a society have learned about body dysmorphia to give you a firm foundation for what’s really going on.

This episode is really pertinent because sadly, I’ve heard from far too many that others don’t believe them when they say they have body dysmorphia. They might say it’s just vanity or attention seeking, or it’s a problem they’re making up in their head. This episode is to prove those people wrong. Body dysmorphia is real. It’s a real issue that causes massive hurt for hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

The research is still coming out about this because this disorder is growing rapidly. It’s becoming a really big problem for so many people around the world. But what the [00:04:00] research has shown us unequivocally is that this issue is real and that it’s happening at the neurological level. What it also shows us is that because this issue is often a learned behavior, we can unlearn it.

And that is a message of hope, I want to give you throughout this episode. And as a disclaimer, remember, I am not a psychiatrist. I’m a consulting hypnotist. This information is not to be used as a diagnosis or as medical advise. It is simply an objective look at the information society has gathered around these issues to give you more information and perhaps to help you start making those changes as well.

There’s a lot of information to cover here, so let’s dive into it. First of all, let’s get a bigger picture of what’s actually happening with BDD. Body dysmorphia has been shown in many ways to be similar to obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD. It shows many of the same brain area patterning, and it also shows many of the same cues, like repetitive thoughts and actions, and obsession with [00:05:00] perfection or symmetry, and feelings of anxiety or fear, when these underlying goals aren’t met.

Now, body dysmorphia also shows some interesting links with anorexia nervosa, both have an intense focus on body image. And BDD may cause anorexia or the other way around. The two often come hand in hand and will explore that relation a little bit deeper in upcoming episodes.

First of all, why do we get body dysmorphia? It may seem like it comes from multiple different avenues, but it ultimately comes down to one umbrella cause. Scientists, therapists, and researchers have come to the conclusion that we get body dysmorphia for many of the same reasons we get other issues, like disordered eating or OCD.

And that main umbrella issue is trauma. And remember, there are many types of trauma. I often talk in my practice about big tea and little tea traumas. When we talk about big T trauma, that’s what we usually think about when we hear the word trauma. It’s that big sudden event that has [00:06:00] a huge effect on us.

Like a car accident or a death of a loved one or a major breakup or a divorce. Or it can be a lot of smaller events, those little T traumas that add up to one massive impact. Now, trauma is anything that happens that makes us feel unsafe or threatened, or that we need to protect ourselves. And this has been backed up by the research that this can be a really potent cause of these issues.

Studies have shown that the mental images that people with BDD make of themselves, have strong links to early stressful memories. So let’s dive into why that trauma actually causes those long term problems. To lay a foundation, it’s important to know that our brains are built to be survival machines.

They’re not designed to keep us happy all the time, or to make us efficient and productive, or to keep us motivated towards our goals. They’re essentially built for one purpose and that’s to stay alive. When we get traumatized in any way, whether physical, [00:07:00] emotional, mental, or another way entirely, that signals all of our alarms.

Our brain goes into DEFCON one, essentially, especially if you hadn’t had any event like this in the past to prepare you. Some researchers believe that because we, as a species aren’t as violent or aggressive or even outdoorsy as we used to be, that we have fewer experiences with potentially traumatic events, which might make us more susceptible to being traumatized by the events that do happen. And other researchers helpfully point out that for most of human history, many of our ancestors likely walked around with untreated PTSD from years of death and illness and war and famine and pillaging and child mortality and more. So I guess, take your pick with that.

When we get traumatized, our brain’s first instinct is to protect itself. Typically that’s with the fight or flight response. Perhaps we lash out, perhaps we run away. And often when it’s a psychological herd, we have a third response, which is to freeze. It’s the same way a rabbit might freeze to avoid being [00:08:00] spotted.

We freeze emotionally to avoid making a target of ourselves. Oftentimes, this may look like dissociation, like someone is checking out emotionally. Maybe they’re being distant emotionally. Now, the primary goals of this fight flight or freeze response, is to stop feeling the way that we’re feeling, i.e, to stop getting hurt if that’s what’s happening.

That’s why we might pick up some simple, unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking or overeating and more. That’s because our brain is going to do anything to get us outta that situation, to keep us alive. And once it’s out of that situation, the brain’s second objective is to make sure that never happens again.

Remember, our brain is not responding to what’s happening today. It’s responding to what happened to you yesterday and in years past. To make sure the good things happen more often and the bad things never happen again. Even if we’ve never been threatened again with the same problem we face during our earlier years, our brain might still be preparing us for that exact [00:09:00] situation.

We might tense up or flinch whenever we get into a situation that unconsciously reminds us of that dangerous situation. And oftentimes, it will map across to other situations that look somewhat similar. And that’s why when we have that trauma in our past, we might map that across to other situations.

Now, our brain will look for various options to prevent that thing, that situation from ever happening again. Oftentimes, it may take a little while for the brain to land on the one that it chooses to use for a long time. Sometimes, it might try a bunch of things and this can be good. But remember, our mind is lazy. It takes shortcuts and it conserves energy.

Usually, when it finds a behavior that solves the problem, even if it has a lot of consequences, it will stick with that even if there are logically other tools that might be better. Remember, your brain picked up this issue to help you, whether it’s BDD, whether it’s disordered eating or whether it’s another related issue.

Your brain was trying to [00:10:00] help you with this. And that’s a really strange way of looking at it, but I encourage you to adopt that mindset shift because if you’re fighting your brain, that’s a losing battle. But if you’re realizing that your brain is trying to help you in a roundabout way, that means you can have that forgiveness for your brain and that you can work with it to get this problem out of your life.

When you were younger, facing whatever might have happened, your brain had to make a decision between two evils. It had to decide between being defenseless in front of a danger that very well might come back or between having a harmful issue that you control that can prevent that danger from ever happening again.

And I mentioned the word control, which is a controversial topic when talking about this. It’s very true that when BDD or disordered eating gets in full swing, those issues feel completely out of our control, like they’re happening to us. I wanna explain more on that in a moment. But control is a big part of why we start down those slippery slopes in the first place, because we want control in a situation that we don’t have [00:11:00] control in.

With eating disorders, perhaps food is the one thing we could control in an unstable life. Perhaps we felt out of control with our peers, with parents and saw these harmful behaviors as a way to reassert some level of control over our life. Often, body dysmorphia develops as a way to reassert some level of control as well.

It’s also a way to choose the battleground if you will. For when something hurtful might happen again. We don’t want others to catch us unaware with the problems or the flaws that they might notice. Our mind reasons that perhaps it’s better to notice the flaw and beat ourselves up for it than to be blindsided when someone else picks on that flaw for us.

And as this harmful issue progresses, it reaches a point in time where it stops being something you control and starts being something that controls you. I cannot count the number of people with BDD or disordered eating who tell me they never intended to let this problem become the problem it is now. No one chooses this issue outright.

It starts very [00:12:00] small and we often rationalize it. We convince ourselves it’s not really a problem or that we can stop at any time. But then we start getting those rewards. Perhaps it’s a smaller size, perhaps it’s having that pristine presentation in front of others. Perhaps it’s getting compliments from peers, from friends and even relatives.

And that starts to lead us further down that path. Remember, our mind is a habit building machine, and we often don’t realize we’re forming habits until they’re already there. I really love the quote by Benjamin Franklin, the chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they’re too strong to be broken.

When that issue becomes a habit, it’s become part of our unconscious mind. It’s literally wired into the structure of our brain. And it can be unwired, but that takes concentrated effort. But back to the choice your brain may have had to make between those two evils. If it had to choose between two terrible choices, your brain will always choose the one that will give you the greatest chance of survival.

Because after all, if you [00:13:00] die, your brain has nowhere to live. It’s got a very vested interest in keeping you alive. And after the brains solved that second goal, even if imperfectly, it can turn to the third goal which is to deal with the hurt. Now, unfortunately, very rarely does this mean healing that hurt outright.

If it did, the trauma likely wouldn’t have much of an impact on our lives, which is why we need to talk about mental health and recovery in society. Because otherwise, people don’t realize it’s okay to get that help. Instead of healing it outright, the brain finds other ways to deal with those hurts. Perhaps it’s becoming aggressive, perhaps it’s how a child becomes aggressive and destructive on the playground as they vent those feelings.

Perhaps they lash out at others verbally or physically, perhaps they become withdrawn or emotionally distant. Oftentimes, those hurts turn inward, we stuff them down and all that anger and resentment then gets turned inwards as well. And that’s where our negative self-talk comes from. When you were a kid, before you met your peers, [00:14:00] before society had a chance to imprint It’s self-criticism on you, you likely had a great relationship with yourself.

You had fun, you crawled around, you found bugs, you played in the mud. Perhaps you sat on the dog, you did all kinds of things and your negative self talk never came up because it wasn’t there. Negative self-talk is a learned behavior. And that should give you hope, because remember, any behavior that we learned, we can also unlearn.

And we’ll talk about how to break down that negative self-talk in upcoming episodes. So back to it, there are many reasons we stuff down those hurts and often it’s because we don’t have the time or the space to deal with that yet. Or we haven’t developed emotionally enough to process it because we’re still growing.

At times, our brain is incredibly wise. It won’t bring these things up until you’re at a time in your life where you can fully deal with them. If you had a difficult childhood in any way, your brain might not have brought up those issues until after you left that home because your brain realized it isn’t safe to be vulnerable yet, that time [00:15:00] will come.

That’s why we often see instances of anxiety and depression rising in young adults who have just left home for the first time. Of course, it’s not the only reason, there are many factors. But often, it’s because we’re processing hurts and traumas that we haven’t been able to process up to that point.

That’s actually what happened in my own mental health journey. Midway through my senior year of high school, while planning to leave home for college, about five hours away, I started developing symptoms of depression. And I went through a major depressive episode over the next 12 months. And I now realize that depression may be one of the ways our brain is telling us, hey, we need to make a change, or we need to look at this in a different way.

For me, that change was working through those hurts that had built up for years. Over my own journey, I dealt with depression, with anxiety, with body image issues, and more. All is a consequence of working through those deeper issues and getting them out of my life. The point is that it only happened when I was leaving that difficult situation, when I could finally start to open up and be vulnerable.

[00:16:00] And I’ve seen this happen for people in all stages of life. Often, this happens when people are leaving abusive marriages. As soon as they leave, they fall under depressive feelings because their psyche may have been battered around for years. Only now that they’re safely out of that relationship, can they work through all of that and process it.

The point of all of this is that even for problems like depression and anxiety and body dysmorphia and disordered eating, your brain is using these to accomplish a goal. It’s trying to help you, even though it may feel like your brain hates you at times, it’s always working to help you.

If you have negative self talk, often it’s only because you or others around you have taught your brain that that’s how it’s supposed to speak to you. That’s why, whether with hypnosis, in therapy or with a BDD treatment center program, one of the first steps is making peace with your own mind. Because if you don’t, you’re going to hate yourself and the process the entire way.

And really, you’re not hating something separate from you. You’re hating you.[00:17:00] That only prolongs how much you suffer and how long you suffer with that problem. And I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, one of the terribly unfortunate experiences so many have had, when they tell others about their BDD or disordered eating.

Others don’t believe them. They say it’s all in their head or it’s vanity, or it’s just getting attention. They say it’s a self cause problem, or a made up problem. And that kind of thinking helps no one. It only guilts those who are actually struggling with this issue and drives them to deeper depths and prevents them from getting the help they need.

And that’s why I created this episode and ultimately this podcast to show that if you’re struggling with this, you are not crazy, you are not broken, you are not flawed or unworthy. This is not a judgment of any kind. BDD and disordered eating are real measurable issues. They’re awful to experience and they are dramatically impacting how so many people live their lives.

We can even track what happens in the brain, using the tools that modern medicine has developed. To prove that this [00:18:00] is happening, that this is real. The research has shown quite a bit about what’s actually happening when we struggle with these issues. The primary thing that they’ve uncovered is that people with BDD literally process images of faces differently than those who don’t have it.

This isn’t something you’re making up. Your brain is literally distorting what you’re seeing, which is why it makes no sense when someone encounters with. But you’re beautiful, so it doesn’t matter. It does matter because your brain literally isn’t seeing yourself how others might. Studies of people with BDD in F MRI machines have shown that when they look at faces, those with BDD process the image with the parts of their mind that are detail oriented. While control participants, process the image with the parts of their brain that see the whole picture.

Meaning that those with BDD are missing the forest for the trees. Their mind is unconsciously focusing on the details, zooming in to find flaws, trying to scan every little piece of that image to make sure everything’s perfect. Studies have [00:19:00] also shown how quickly or slowly the brains of those with BDD, process an image as a face or as a neutral object, like a house. They have found that these unconscious reaction times are actually slower than that of control participants.

This may point to how those with BDD have an impaired ability to form memories around faces, which likely contributes to the distortion that these people experience. And here’s the thing about a distorted reality, when we’re in one, we often don’t realize it. For us, this is just what reality looks like.

Perhaps we think everyone experiences the world the same way as we. Our brains are really good at convincing us that what we believe is true, that’s especially true when it’s coming from our unconscious mind, and here’s a classic example. When you’re watching a scary movie, you know that those are just pixels on a screen, that this is a scripted movie, and that the bad guy isn’t actually there in the room with you.

But your brain creates such a vivid reality of it that it’s as if you are there with him.[00:20:00] It’s like you were wearing virtual reality goggles your entire life, but instead of giving you a completely different reality, it showed almost the same as everyone else. Except that every time you looked at a dog, it actually looked like a camel.

Maybe at first you wouldn’t realize it. You’d think this was just the way it was that everyone just owns a pet camel. But when you talk about these pet camels to others, they start to think you were crazy. They’d ask, what are you talking about? Are your eyes broken? This is clearly a dog. And maybe you’d pretend to be able to see that dog as a dog just to fit in, especially, the more times that you were told that other people see this as a dog. If every single person around you told you that it was a dog and not a camel, you might begin to think that you were broken or stupid, or there was something terribly wrong with you.

Our brains create vivid reality tunnels for every single one of us. Some of us have reality tunnels about how great life is. Some have tunnels about the world is out to get them, some think that I’m not capable to do this. Others have that reality tunnel that says I’ve got things fully under control. And what we believe at a [00:21:00] deep level becomes our reality.

And that’s hard to fight with. It’s like trying to fight with a fact that stop signs are red, or that wheels are round. Negative body image standards are so pervasive in our culture today, that they are just as common as red stop signs or round wheels. We’re essentially steeped in it day in and day out, and no wonder so many have developed these issues.

But remember, because this is a learned way of looking at the world, this can also be unlearned. And that’s we’re exploring in depth in this one and upcoming episodes. Just remember, you’re not crazy, these distortions are happening at the neuron level. You’re literally not seeing yourself the way that others would see you.

Another really big aspect of these issues is that they’re compounded by the fact that we don’t feel good about ourselves. And looking at what we’re going through, that’s understandable. So many people that we look up to in society have negative views of themselves. And when we have these distorted images on top of that, no wonder this happens to us.

One of the major keys that I work on with clients [00:22:00] is being at peace with who they are. Not just physically, but emotionally and mentally, and perhaps even spiritually. It’s about helping them enjoy who they are and perhaps enjoying life again for the first time. Because if they don’t, they might fall back into that trap that they’ve so recently crawled out of.

Now, I can’t wipe out every single message of body negativity out there, but I can help make that person immune to those messages. People who are at peace with their body image, don’t take on negative body image standards. Their unconscious may notice them, but they no longer pick them up. It leaves them by the side of the road where they belong.

And that’s the level of total healing that we’re aiming for. When we have BDD or body image issues, our brains usually tend to take on these harmful body standards. It gathers them up like pretty stones, hardly realizing that everyone that we pick up only weighs us down even more. And when we’ve got these issues, our brains have been shown to be more likely to do this naturally.

Studies have found that when at rest, [00:23:00] people with body dysmorphia have more interaction between the parts of their brains, that deal with visual cues and the parts that process or bring up emotions, meaning that your brain is processing what you’re seeing and then immediately attaching emotions to it.

And it might not always do this if you’re looking at a tree or a brick or another random object. But this definitely comes into play when we’re looking at a person. When our brain automatically fires those emotional states when we perceive something visually, that sways our entire perception. Think of a time you felt really emotional, perhaps angry or upset or sad or lonely, perhaps you didn’t make the best decisions.

You likely also perceived the situation differently than you would have otherwise. Our emotions literally influence what we perceive and because our mind creates such a vivid tunnel out of our own reality, we often don’t realize that we’re doing this. That can cause us to see what’s not really there. Also, it gives the brain a reason or a motivation to search incredibly hard for small imperfections in our [00:24:00] reflection. Because if we believe it’s there, it’s going to search even harder and perhaps even change what we’re seeing to reflect what we believe.

Another study found that people with BDD were more likely to perceive ambiguous situations as more threatening, whether the situations were related to the body or were social or general situations. People with BDD are more likely to feel threatened, even in non-threatening situations.

Now often, body dysmorphia is accompanied by anxiety. That may be social anxiety or another type, which makes sense if our brain picked up this behavior to protect us from something social. If we’ve got those past hurts in our life, oftentimes we become unconsciously alert all the time because your brain never knows when that might happen again.

Your brain is trying to prevent that bad thing from ever happening again. And remember our brain believes it’s better to overreact and chuckle at ourselves later than to underreact and never have the chance to laugh at ourselves again. Body dysmorphia also impacts how we recognize facial [00:25:00] emotions in others.

One study found that individuals with BDD were more likely than those without BDD to see neutral faces as angry or disgusted. That’s how far this will go, not just in situations, but the very expressions of others. The people around you might be thinking nothing at all and our brain convinces us that they’re thinking negatively about us.

And this can give us that low level adrenaline trickle that never really goes away. This may be the reason for those self soothing behaviors. We’re trying to deal with all this anxiety that’s built up in us. We’re likely expecting that disapproval from others. And when we expect something will happen, our brains help to find clues in our environment to help back up that belief and may even misinterpret clues to fit what we believe.

And remember our brain learns BDD as a way to protect itself. Perhaps it was to help you appear as close as possible to perfect, to appease a relative who was impossible to please. Perhaps it was a way to pick out your own flaws before others did it for you. That’s based on the belief that others [00:26:00] will hurt you and will pick out those flaws.

I’d love for you to ask yourself right now, deep down. Do I trust others? Would I trust them to keep me safe? And this may be a good indicator of your unconscious beliefs in this area. Currently the jury is still out on whether BDD has a strong connection with mental illnesses like anxiety and depression, or whether these issues may develop completely separately.

Some studies have found correlations with decreased neurotransmitters that look similar between depressed patients and those with BDD. But again, the findings are still being debated. Researchers have however, noticed a strong link between BDD and OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder. Some have gone as far as to say that they’re two sides of the same coin or they’re two expressions of the same underlying problem.

In many cases, the symptoms are often so similar that BDD is misdiagnosed as OCD. Both involve recurrent persistent thoughts, both involve an obsession with symmetry or perfection. And they [00:27:00] may involve obsessive thoughts that often take over much of your time. With BDD, it’s repeatedly checking the mirror to see if you look good enough to go out.

Perhaps it’s repeatedly changing outfits or repeatedly asking people how you look. It’s that frustration at a lack of perfection or symmetry in your appearance. It’s being willing to do these actions time and time again, often for hours until it’s done perfectly. Whether it’s BDD, or OCD, why do we do these repetitive behaviors?

Often, they serve to reduce anxiety and regulate negative emotions. They’re self soothing behaviors. It convinces the mind that it has some control. If someone has to flip the light switch exactly 17 times before leaving the room, their brain has convinced them that this has some inherent meaning. Or that if they don’t do it, something terrible might happen.

If someone has to rearrange their hair exactly 17 times, and it has to be perfect on the last time or they have to start over. This may be the exact same problem. It’s a tool our brains have picked [00:28:00] up because it needed something. These issues serve a purpose. They give us back a feeling of control.

They help us self soothe, especially in situations where we won’t get that soothing reassurance from others. The goal is to help the psyche to heal so that it no longer needs these issues as coping mechanisms. So what else have we learned about body dysmorphia from the research?

Studies have shown that BDD inhibits our ability to make fast decisions or decisions that require a lot of thought planning or organization. Why is that? One reason maybe that BDD consumes so much of our mental resources. If we’re constantly worried that others are thinking negative thoughts about us, or we’re constantly checking our own appearance to make sure no one has an excuse to call us out, that’s exhausting. How can we possibly think about other things? Things like college courses or our taxes or projects at work or new business ideas.

Your mind will prioritize those body dysmorphia thoughts overall else, because it believes those thoughts are keeping you alive.[00:29:00] And if you’re struggling with these thoughts, just notice how they impact your own ability to think and your ability to get things done. How have they impacted your life? What could you have achieved if you hadn’t had all that time taken by those thoughts? And what will you be able to achieve when you’re no longer consumed by those thoughts?

On a different note, some studies have been asking questions about whether some people are inherently predisposed to developed BDD. Meaning, is it genetic? Can people pass BDD onto their kids? And it’s possible. There hasn’t been enough genetic study yet to push it conclusively either way. But we may be passing on the neurotransmitter settings that may make people more prone to developing BDD in their life.

There are some who highly stress, the importance of our genes. And some say it might be as high as a 47% chance that as someone you’re related to as BDD, you might have it too. Personally, I feel we should place much more emphasis on our conditioning, not on our genes.

Body dysmorphia, and disordered eating aren’t [00:30:00] learned behaviors. Meaning that we had to learn them from somewhere. Our minds are always picking up information about the world around us, especially when we’re young. When we’re really young, that critical faculty, the part of us that filters what the world is telling us so that not all of it ends up in our unconscious, that part hasn’t really formed between the ages of zero and seven. Meaning that any beliefs we’re told or that we’ve seen enacted around us time and time again, those go straight into our unconscious. And when we’re really young, our minds are just trying to survive. We’re taking info about the world that will live in from those we trust. Meaning that if we get that message of body image issues from a stranger in the grocery store, that might not have that big impact.

But if our own mother is giving us that message, that can have huge consequences. Not only are we around them day in and day out, but we look up to them. We trust them to take care of us and we love them. And if they feel badly about their bodies, we feel that we probably should feel bad about ours too.

If a mother, an aunt or a big sister has [00:31:00] BDD, we pick up on so much of it, both consciously and unconsciously. Our minds at that age are like a sponge. They’re gathering information and they’re not judging yet whether that info is helpful or unhelpful. They’re just kind of grabbing it all, all this is to say is that it makes sense while you might feel the way you feel about your body.

Not that your mind is right about your body, but that’s your mind fully believes that it’s right. And it’s created changes at the neurological level to make you believe it’s right too. Body dysmorphia is real. So are all the issues like disordered eating that often accompany it? The good news is that there is hope.

That’s a huge part of what we’re going to explore in this podcast. We’re giving you resources from countless experts in this field to help you realize all of this. And speaking of resources, if you haven’t yet checked out the miracle mirror, that free audio I’ve spoken about on this podcast, what’s stopping you?

You may be in one of two places right now, perhaps you’re not quite ready to take the leap and finally start healing this issue out of your life. Or [00:32:00] perhaps you are so ready. And the only thing stopping you is that you haven’t yet found the right tools. Whatever the reason, I highly encourage you to check out this audio. It’s psychologically built and it’s intricately developed, and it can help you make powerful changes in this one specific area that so many of us suffer with the mirror.

I developed this as a free audio, because I kept hearing from people suffering with this, that the mirror was their biggest pain point. They felt they weren’t safe around it. Every time they saw themselves, they tore themselves apart, and their negative self-talk would rip them to shreds. But this audio can help, as it’s already helped so many to work through this area of the issue. To get your miracle mirror audio today, go to anywherehypnosis.com. Scroll down the homepage a bit and you’ll see exactly where it is. While there, you can also check out some of the videos of people telling it how incredibly their life changed with hypnosis.

Many of those videos are specific to body dysmorphia. Others have overcome disordered eating and still others overcame issues that go hand in [00:33:00] hand with these. Now it’s time for the empowering metaphor. And if you haven’t heard one of these yet, go ahead and just sit back and relax and enjoy this. This is a powerful hypnotic technique where your conscious mind will be caught up in the story while your unconscious mind will be getting the powerful message that it needs to get to start making those changes.

So today’s empowering metaphor is called discovering bacteria. Now, the science of healthcare has some pretty humble roots. Early in its history, we had a lot of things that may have helped and that may have done nothing at all. For example, we had plague doctors, doctors who wore large masks that looked like bird beaks on their faces.

Effectively, these doctors weren’t really that great. They helped quarantine people and they may have done more harm than good in many ways, perhaps they spread the disease between patients. As people tried to help, they formulated all kinds of theories that many of which were eventually proven wrong. As an example, people used to believe that the sick were surrounded by miasma or a poisonous [00:34:00] cloud of air. They believe that for the black death, for chlamydia, and for many other diseases.

Over time, new theories were tested and some were accepted, some were rejected. Gradually over time medicine improved. And it was only when the microscope was invented and people starting to look at these diseases realized that there was something that had been there all along. That’s when they discovered bacteria. These bacteria had been causing many of these illnesses from the very beginning. And it was only when we were able to see them that we could truly understand.

Thank you so much for listening into this episode of The Body Dysmorphia Recovery Podcast. Remember to click the subscribe button because we’ve got upcoming episodes with leading experts in the BDD and ED fields. And these in-depth interviews are ones you won’t want to miss.

My name is Doug Sands, and I help people with body dysmorphia to wipe out BDD, to heal harmful eating, and to live that normal life again, without having to wait weeks on weeks to get that treatment. Thank you so much for listening into [00:35:00] this episode.

And I look forward to seeing you in the next one. Talk to you soon.

Like what you heard in this episode? Remember to Subscribe! Click the + button on your favorite podcasting app, because you won’t want to miss out on the bonus episodes that you’ll only get when you subscribe.

Want to watch what happens behind the scenes? Check out the Body Dysmorphia Recovery Podcast on YouTube! Whether for solo shows or guest interviews, you can see everything that’s happening behind the scenes to bring this podcast to you.

Ready to learn more about ending BDD with Hypnosis? Check out Doug’s website! Here, you can learn more about how Doug helps people end BDD, heal harmful eating, and live that normal life again.

You can also check out the Free Hypnosis Audios that Doug has created especially for podcast listeners. Click here to get your Binge Blocker Hypnosis, to help you overcome uncontrollable eating whenever it strikes! And if you’re ready to overcome that struggle with mirrors, photos, and videos, it’s time for The Miracle Mirror. You can find out more about both here.

Finally, if you’d like even more of the Weight Loss with Hypnosis podcast, check out the show on Instagram and TikTok!

To your journey towards life without BDD or body image issues,

Doug

Links:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgp0ylxhJsL2QXsU8IdmQVQ

https://anywherehypnosis.com/

https://www.instagram.com/anywherehypnosis/

https://www.tiktok.com/@doug_the_bdd_specialist?lang=en

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