Some patients have tried to convince me that their view is accurate by holding their face at different angles or changing the lighting in the room. “Can’t you see they’re flat?” a young woman asked me about her cheekbones, turning her head and holding it at different angles.Other variations of questioning behavior are asking others how to fix the problem—the best way to curl hair or how to pay for liposuction—or a discussion of the defect and the problems it’s caused. Virtually all one man talked about was his hair—his belief that it was thinning, how his life would be different if it weren’t, and how to fix it. These discussions dominated his conversations with his girlfriend.Reassurance seeking typically causes problems. It can take up a lot of time and be very difficult for family members and friends. Whereas mirror checking, grooming, and picking can be done in private, questioning always involves someone else. If it’s limited to once or twice a day, it’s generally tolerable. But if it’s more frequent, it can dominate and ruin relationships.I’ve been told by many people with BDD that their spouse, girlfriend, or boyfriend left them because they spent so much time talking about, or asking about, their appearance. Other aspects of the disorder—such as avoidance of social situations—often contribute to relationship problems as well. But it’s surprising how often the questioning is considered a major part of the problem.*102\204\8*
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