Body dysmorphia disorder: People with BDD share torment of perceived defects in appearance

You're beautiful" is a phrase Melbourne woman Bessie has heard many times, but the 23-year-old has always struggled to believe it. Instead, a body image disorder has made her believe she was so ugly that she considered taking her own life.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental illness that involves an obsession with perceived or imaginary defects in a person's appearance.

For Bessie, it began 10 years ago with a fixation on her nose, then her skin.
"The mirror became my best friend and my worst enemy. I was disgusted by what I saw, but at the same time I sought reassurance and thought next time I looked I might get that reassurance," she said.

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