need to find a therapist (?) who specializes in BDD & eating disorders
April 13, 2015 9:09 PM   Subscribe

looking for recommendations for a therapist or specialist in LA area who can help treat my extreme obsession with appearance. I know I am suffering with a type of eating disorder and I think a form of OCD or body dysmorphic disorder, too. it's ruining my life. I am sick of this pathetic problem. there are actual sick people in the world and I'm worried about such trivial things and I can't help it. I want to stop thinking like this and am ready to get help. more inside.

I don't want to go into too many details or overthink this post because if I do, I'll chicken out and won't actually post. Long story short I'm having issues with what I can only describe as extreme lack of confidence and an obsession with the way I look...just being completely disgusted and worried about my appearance. it's such a ridiculous problem and I'm embarrassed to have to seek help for something like this when there are people out there with real issues and actual sicknesses. I've had a issues with disordered eating in the past (undiagnosed) and depression and anxiety. I've been to various therapists and psychiatrists but am looking for someone who possibly specializes in this. I live in LA - Hollywood specifically. I know I could google but was looking for possible personal recommendations. this is such a stupid, stupid issue I want to get over this obsession. it's SO childish and vain.
again sorry for poor grammar I'm not even going to proof this because if I do I know I won't actually post.

Thanks in advance.
posted by twoforty5am to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you excessively excersizing/bingeing/fasting/abusing laxatives or diet pills? because it matters. If theres no eating disorderd-ly then it could be just ocd/mania, and eating disorders are very different than such, and going to a therapist for the wrong thing could set you back.
posted by tahu363 at 9:26 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I've always had an issue with food and trying various diets but was never overweight and was generally healthy. I started doing the whole clean eating no sugar thing about 2 years ago. it was great but then I became obsessive and now I do binge and restrict and count every calorie then work out to "cancel out" what I've eaten. some days I'll get obsessed with not eating any sugar even fruit. other weeks I'll be all about high protein! low carbs! it's beyond annoying. I want to stop but no matter how hard I try it's always on my mind. the funny thing is that there are some weeks where it's just a food and weight obsession but other times it'll be a feature on my face that I hate and I won't worry as much about food. so instead, I'll hate my nose or my lips and I'll get stuck on that and be convinced that I need to go "fix" them. obviously the problem is not my weight or my nose. it's in my head.

I should note that I'm no longer eating a 1200 calorie diet. so I'm not in danger of starvation or anything like that. but at this rate I -am- gonna drive myself crazy with these obsessions.
posted by twoforty5am at 9:48 PM on April 13, 2015

Hey, I have no recommendations because I'm not living in LA right now, but as one eating disordered kid to another I want to make sure you hear it from someone: your obsessive destructive thoughts do not make you childish or vain. They are evidence of a real, valid, overwhelming illness. You are carrying around so much shame and it's eating you alive -- that is not trivial. That is something you 100% deserve help with and something you can overcome. You are not defective. You are not stupid or shallow or experiencing something that isn't real -- and you do not have to have it worse than someone else on the planet for that to be true. Suffering is not a competition. I am sending you a TON of love and support because I have been where you are and frankly I still am. You do not have to hide in fear about being unworthy of help or support. That you've asked this is fucking huge and I am cheering for you. You can beat this. ❤️
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:09 PM on April 13, 2015 [17 favorites]

A good search term for you generally might be "orthorexia."

Please first congratulate yourself for getting help. This really IS a real problem, and it's serious; anorexia has been considered the most deadly mental illness.

So yes, this is serious, it's real, and you are as deserving of help as anyone else, simply because you are you. It isn't stupid or childish or vain. It's a real disease and you are suffering, and you deserve help. Best of luck and love to you.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:02 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

Echoing Hermione: you have real issues and an actual illness. You deserve help overcoming them just as much as anyone else does.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:03 AM on April 14, 2015 [3 favorites]

me-mailed you
posted by arnicae at 7:09 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

The UCLA Eating Disorders Program has an adult-specific track, which can be harder to find. If you're not able to do an inpatient program (their program is inpatient first, then outpatient full-day, so it's quite a time investment that may not be feasiblefor you) they DO do referrals, and they seem like a great place to start so you don't have to worry about running up against "well, gosh, this isn't my specialty but..."
posted by Lyn Never at 8:22 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

There are some amazing outpatient and/or weekly routine therapy groups and clinics smattered throughout LA that host counseling sessions as well as other activities and support groups to give you better, well-rounded chance at recovery and meet several times a week -- you should look into them. I can't name any in specific as I have no personal experience with them, but I do know that they exist because I was doing research for a friend and was astonished by the vast availability of services.

Host organizations run the gamut from small private facilities, academic/community hospitals, to individual counselors and therapy groups. I suggest you look for something near you and consider an intensive program for the near-term future. Best of luck. I know how tough it is to break the cycle.
posted by doctordrey at 9:29 AM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I cannot thank you enough for the recommendations and the words of advice.
I hope I didn't offend anyone by saying that I felt like it was a stupid and vain problem to have. You're right. It's a disease. Just like anything else. Any other sickness. and it's not something I can just "get over". Deep down I know it's a mental health issue and it's something that I can't control by myself. Really, you guys cannot imagine how much your words mean to me. I'm going to go ahead and look into the UCLA program and I am about to call some of the recommendations you've me-mailed me.
Thank you thank you thank you.
posted by twoforty5am at 1:46 PM on April 14, 2015 [3 favorites]

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