Do you know about BDD?

March 26,2010


Scenario – In anyone’s eyes you look fine, like a normal human being, perfect even to some people. The mirror means everything to you because you know you have to take care of yourself and that you constantly have to look your best.

For some reason, when you look at yourself in the mirror, you find that youSADDEST_101410175.gif’re frowning at your own reflection. This is because your brain tells you so. The feedback it gives you is completely different hence all you see staring back at you from the mirror is not very encouraging.

It could be your skin, your nose, entire face, hair, stomach, height, bum, fingers… or just your entire body that you feel is a problem area. You don’t like that particular body bit, hence you start getting obsessed with trying to fix it. You try fixing it but you never see the results that you want or you find it getting worse and worse until it reaches a point where you cannot stand yourself anymore.

You start loathing mirrors (or anything that gives you a reflection of yourself, like photos), you cannot stand cameras, and sometimes you cannot even stand to touch yourself.  In turn your confidence takes a huge plunge, so much so that you can’t take it when people look at you because you are afraid they will see your unsightliness and imperfections.

You get nervous when you think people are staring at you, you think they are laughing at you and pointing out your flaws. With time you can’t stand people and you can’t stand social gatherings hence you develop a social phobia.

Mood swings become rampant when in the company of cheerful people and jealousy checks in when you see someone who according to you has the perfect body. You see life as unfair, that they have what is perfect and not you. At this point life means nothing to you and therefore every aspect of your life-work, relationship, academics, social life… -suffer.

Anxiety attacks, chronic low self esteem, strong feelings of shame, over dependence on someone (family, the significant other…) become the norm. In the long run, if you don’t seek help you turn against yourself and may become a cutter, a cosmetic surgery addict and eventually, suicidal.

If the above scenario seems all too familiar, you could be suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).

So what really is BDD?

It is an anxiety disorder where a person becomes excessively concerned and preoccupied by a perceived defect of a specific body part, several bits of the body, or the whole package. It has largely to do with excessive social acceptance fears relating to one’s body image.

This disorder usually stems up from the onset of adolescence as this is the stage where one becomes self conscious, starts to discover him/herself and cares about fitting in societal standards regarding the body image.

What usually happens is that the individual’s rating of the body attribute fails to fit with that of an objective observer, who may not even see anything unattractive or unusual about the attribute, or who may notice a trivial problem. It may involve a slight actual defect but the sufferer will constantly obsess over it.

It is usually linked to an easad_girl_904095426.gifting disorder – such as overeating, anorexia and bulimia nervosa – or having a generalised anxiety disorder beforehand. These are all brain disorders that have to do with one’s physical appearance.

Other factors that may trigger the disorder are the genetic factors where there is chemical imbalance in the brain, the visual processing is not functioning normally, or one could be suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

There are also the Psychological factors, which could emanate from one’s upbringing, other life experiences that took away self esteem, including bullying, teasing or criticism.

Environmental factors and personality are also a cause, which could be resultant of someone’s sensitivity to criticism or rejection hence excessive shyness, characteristics of perfectionism, unassertiveness, and/or displaying a schizoid personality.

It is equally common among both men and women.
It is important to note that it is perfectly normal for someone not to like some part of their body, but BDD comes in when hating that body part becomes an obsessive situation where one vilifies their being regularly.



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  1. benji July 9th, 2012 at 8:56 am

    A man of the likes of Mutai is not considered an Intellectual in my dictionary.He is a political analyst with a bias…..For those who used to watch him understand this well.Which scholarly publication of his have you read?
    Miguna has the right to use any forum to air his views.

    1. James Kaindi July 9th, 2012 at 9:55 am

      @ Kwesi Pratt- Why are picking venomous fights with people who are least interested in engaging you. You clearly didn’t undestand Lister, let me repeat it to you in simple English, we need to guard our concsience and as such should sieve what goes into to it, judging by the writer’s motive and subject of the book it is quite clearly that MM is venting out his frustrations in public which are the least of our concern.

      1. Kwessi Pratt July 9th, 2012 at 11:24 am

        @James Kaidi-You are abit confused pal. You need to read the book before you start giving unsolicited remedies against it. Thats jumping the gun! Why should you think at this point in time we need to be “protected” in the first place? Cant Kenyans be freely allowed to judge the content of the book, whats being hidden anyway? Pal, if you are crippled by twisted loyalty kindly tell us! Or should I say you failed to say a thing?

      2. moe July 9th, 2012 at 2:38 pm

        why are you afraid of a little discussion……i dont see the harm. nyaringa has his opinion, he aired it. kwessi had his on nyaringa’s opinion, he aired it. you have an opinion on kwessi’s opinion, you aired it. i have an opinion on your opinion, am airing it.

        PS:choice of words goes hand in hand with the point, not the character!

        1. James Kaindi July 9th, 2012 at 7:40 pm

          My opinion of you is that you had nothing to write………

          1. Kwessi Pratt July 10th, 2012 at 9:19 am

            @James Kaidi – And you? Unable to give reasons why you believe people hate your idol? Tribal loyalty marked by frustrations is blinding us from seeing the nakedness in some of our leaders. My friend Miguna Miguna has gone a long way in confirming my assertions that pretending to have confronted riot police doesnt make you a reformer at all. And especially so when you always took off before they even arrived. When you invest in lies my friend, you should expect a tsunami. This is just the beginning, the worst is in the offing pal. Make sure that you dont develop depression, or worse, resort to suicide!!!!

  2. Kwessi Pratt July 9th, 2012 at 9:12 am

    You are simply fighting for prime minister Raila. Only that you are smart enough to attempt to hide your designs. First, you admit that you havent read the book and still afford to belittle same, why? Thats intellictual dishonesty, if not total hypocrisy. Why are you trying to pre-empt the impact of the book if you are not driven by same things you are accusing Miguna Miguna of? Secondly, how many people in United States write books everyday after being fired? They are certainly countless! You are only interested in stopping Kenyans from knowing the emptiness of your fake reformer. You are definitely taking instructions from sycophantic loyalty to merchants of deceit. While on the other hand, you are surprisingly trying to condemn same! Is that not a serious contradiction Sir? Kenyans have a right to know their leaders, or even their misleaders! Why do you want to deny them that? And whats your motive? Have you forgotten that Raila is a public figure and even running for presidency and should be subjected to serious scrutiny?

  3. Nancy Kirui July 9th, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Miguna is an embarassent to the legal fraternity, calling him an intellectual is a grave mistake.
    Why is he givng RAO unsolicited publicity by writing about him? He is a disperate broke loser seeking sympathy from the wrong people.
    I can assure him and his publisher that Kenya has no room for rubbish.
    Why is he crying out in the public after being sacked, can’t he pick himself up and move on, T Gachoka was also sacked and went on with his life. He legal colleagues are out there making meaningful money by engaging their brains.

    1. Kwessi Pratt July 9th, 2012 at 11:37 am

      @Nancy Kirui – What are you afraid of? Tonny Gachoka might also write his own book. Its too early in the day. And given the trusted tribal connection that existed between Raila and Miguna, more details about fake reform stickers were readily available to Miguna than Gachoka. However, with new insights in Miguna’s book, Gichoka might break even and come up with even a more explosive book. Nevertheless, we are wondering whats being protected. Cant truth set us free? Huge investments in lies a huge problem?!

    2. nicfx July 9th, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      Gachoka was ‘on the bench’ today, and he has really hit out on Raila. I bet whatever he has mentioned 2day will appear in Miguna’s book. I think if you @Nancy ever get in Raos circle then you’l know why this 2 men and many mo are so pisd with him

      1. Jimmy Mwai October 19th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        i have watched Gachoka on the bench and i believe for his reasons he is no different from Miguna they are both totally pissed of rem he wanted to go to the hague to damn Raila in there!!

  4. CutTheBullShiet July 9th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    On the contrary, it is you and the usual crowd of Odinga bootlickers and worshippers who are exhibiting hilarious sycophancy. You have admitted you have not read the book.. So what on God’s green earth is your basis for critiquing a book whose pages you have not set your eyes on?

    The more Odinga bootlickers continue to trash this book before it is even out, the more the reason I want to read it.

    What exactly are you guys afraid of? The guilty run even when no one is in pursuit.

    1. Jefferson M Ngare July 9th, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      Much as I don’t agree with Lister, am sorry I will not go on record for having shared a similar opinion with you CutTheBullSit. So disgusting at your level of knee jack reasoning. Thank God after reading other posts you realize how way below you are to an average kenya in the context of basic intellect.
      Back to Lister, I suggest we read the book and then critique it from a knowledge point of view and not a biased perspective.

      1. CutTheBullShiet July 10th, 2012 at 5:22 am

        A person who cannot spell ‘knee jerk’ correctly can never be the intellectual standard we should aspire to as a nation.

  5. Japheth Ngonde July 9th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Why attack someone on the contents of a book you have not read?

    1. RICO July 19th, 2012 at 10:53 am

      ask him again sir!

  6. Nabz arsenal July 9th, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    @ Kwessi pratt, reduce the poison in your words, you have the right to defend anyone but not the way you doing it. Lister has his views, respect them, and if you are to challenge the views, do it in sober manner, don’t start creating aspersions on people who are commenting on the article. whether they support the views or not, let respect weave through your comments.
    i agree with Joseph,whining and having vengeful thoughts won’t help the country. the tension in the air is so thick that you can cut though it using a machete, the timing wont help. and it might boomerang on him.
    but he has the right to state his thoughts, i might not agree with what he will say in the book, but i will defend his right of saying it,even to you Kwessi.

    1. Kwessi Pratt July 10th, 2012 at 9:08 am

      @ Nabz arsenal – I dont even believe you have said a thing. I guess, you are too frustrated by truth. However, dont try to insulate others by sayings things that readily expose your frustrations. I prefer a situation whereby you stick to the point and clearly state whats the exact poison in my post. Feeling inner tribal bitterness marked by helplessness wont help here. We need facts and facts alone pal! And where were you when your puported idol was calling others bhang smokers, thieves, watermelons, etc? Are we faced with one-sided situation? I havent even come close to using such unseemly language and am not yet a prime minister!

  7. Yule_Mlo1est July 9th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Miguna Miguna is a disaster that was waiting to happen long time ago he may be educated but not learned…I wonder how a book about him would look like but then again no one is perfect right from leaders to wananchi or is it wenye-nchi…

    1. Kwessi Pratt July 10th, 2012 at 9:46 am

      @Yule_Mlo1est- Disasters only become disasters once they happen or are made to happen. The book clearly points to a disaster that was made to happen by those who hugely invested in lies, character assassinations, malice and poisonous tribalism. Those who faked election theft, called for murderous mass action and refused to tell their supporters to stop the killings have to have their day in public court. Those who have specialized in ridiculing others through deception will have to reap what they sow. Malipo ni hapa hapa ndungu! When you started celebrating because brothers Uhuru, Ruto, Sang and Mzee Muthaura were charged by ICC, their relatives, friends and supporters were mourning and that never crossed your “wicked” minds. When somebody confused mere timing of amendments with reformers and non-reformers and started calling others watermelons, you were all satisfied with a job well done. It never crossed your mind that a seemingly very good Kenyan had only requested for restraint against malicious assault on our religious leaders. Those uncalled for wicked acts have to come back to haunt us pal. Even the HOLY BIBLE says as much!

      1. Yule_Mlo1est July 10th, 2012 at 11:24 am

        Mr Kwessi, do not catch feelings, celebration or not Uhuru, Ruto et al know why they are where they are, they fixed themselves up and just coz they realized that a bit too late ole wao and now somebody is coming up with a book doesn’t make any of these right. It only shows Uhuru and company have a case to answer, gives Miguna Miguna (a testimony that men have become the biggest gossipers) a constitutional right to express himself and Raila (Your punching bag) the last man standing…Once again no one is perfect but we have a constitution and law courts so wenye wako na kesi wajitetee na wenye hawana kesi have no time to defend themselves over gossip & Malice

        1. Kwessi Pratt July 10th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

          Dont cry then pal, is only that the other side of the coin is totally different. But I think you deserve a clear contempt card!

          1. Yule_Mlo1est July 10th, 2012 at 2:41 pm

            hahahahahah! *raises whiteflag* the truth hurts… all of them are our leaders voted by us, they can’t be 100% evil or 100% good but one thing is clear they have to be checked every now and then…even the old man aint that perfect…

          2. Kwessi Pratt July 10th, 2012 at 4:55 pm

            @Yule_Mlo1est – “Raises whiteflag?” How would that happen without any shred of challenge? And havent you noticed that am pretty tenacious? There are nearly 100% good leaders in this country. Those who are called names because of their decency. Those who are mocked for refusing to steal. Those who are insulted for refusing to be corrupt. Those who have done decades in government, even during Kanu regime days, and have failed to embrace corruption. Those are good leaders who have demonstrated through words and deeds that they can stay above the empty noise marked by maddening corruption. Those are the guys we are ever told by lords of deceit that they dont have stands, they are not reliable and they are cowards! Meaning if they have refused to embrace corruption they are bad! This is what you dont get folks! Corruption is like prostitution. Prostitutes dont like at all those who avoid the trade! Its so simple. But you see, majority of our folks think that those sensational stories demeaning others in the media are true. They never imagine that they are fronted by merchants of corruption to derail the country. How would you explain a situation whereby some awfully confused person mixes totally different issues, and then when he is told to go slow on our religious leaders, he quickly screams “watermelon?” And that is repeated over and over to seemingly look like gospel truth. The idea is to cripple our close to 100% good leaders while wearing a fake mask of reform pal. Thats why this Miguna’s book has arrived on the scene. Deceit has to end pal, come what may.

          3. Yule_Mlo1est July 11th, 2012 at 10:10 am

            fine, I take back my white flag, it seems you are mixing issues here, have you even read the book? and still am of the contrary opinion that there’s no 100% good or 100% bad leader…only God can be 100%good…Jus give me an example of one leader who is 100% good.

          4. Kwessi Pratt July 11th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

            @ Yule_Mloest: I thought I did that or your understanding is too low? Re-read my post you will get that leader pal! You want to mean you dont know any leader who has not stolen, not involved in cancer of corruption, not ever using illogical dramas to hide theft and lies? You dont know any leader who is not confused? You dont know anyone at all who tried to correct drunken confused real watermelons, fond of dwelling on insanity, and was in turn branded watermelon himself? You dont know any leader who told drunken people not to mistake timing of amendments of new law with wild yelling of reformers and non-reformers? You mean you dont know at all someone who cautioned wicked people against insulting the clergy and was widely ridiculed by corruption lords for that? What other nearly 100% leaders do you need pal?

          5. Yule_Mlo1est July 17th, 2012 at 11:37 am

            look who’s getting emotional now hehehe! am glad you made it clear “YOUR POST HENCE YOUR OPINION”…you clearly didnt get the question but anyway I can’t blame you, you probably (jus saying) are a follower of somebody whom you are even ashamed of saying his/her name oh well….gud luck with your 100% good leader

          6. Kwessi Pratt July 21st, 2012 at 12:15 pm

            @Yue-Ml01est: Emotional and ashamed? You are getting the wrong signal pal! I never hold back what I believe is right. I was only surprised that you seem not to know any leader who has NOT stolen from the public. Obviously brother VP Kalonzo, my favorite candidate, hasnt stolen from any one at all. His acts are hugely confined in decency and hard work. He doesnt yell on rooftops confused off-issue abscenities. He is a man of integrity. He is above heritage of pretence and non-sense. The guy is pretty cool and nearly 100% ok! Whats your take on that? Awfully sorry for I didnt see your post early enough! Superb weekend though.

    2. Erique July 19th, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Am imaginin if it waz raila whom wrote tha book….!

      1. Kwessi Pratt July 21st, 2012 at 12:18 pm

        @Erique: You are being pretty cool pal!

  8. Slim Carlos July 9th, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Too soon to complain Nyaringa,you might even be mistaken for a sycophant yourself.Miguna might be bitter but dont you think our country deserves to know the other side’s of our beloved politicians?I believe all of us have skeletons but once you become a public figure and hope to lead a nation then you should accept close scrutiny of your personal life,often very uncomfortable especian to supporters but neccessary. As a Kenyan and a Raila supporter for that matter,i dont see why a former insider like Miguna shouldnt take us into the inside life of the man am supporting,maybe there are some truths being hidden from me since i only know one side of him,that of a reformer.He could be a reformer turned conservative.Lets read and judge for ourselves whether Miguna is objective or not.

  9. jeff murage July 9th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Dear Nyaringo I understand you have a soft spot for the PM. too bad that’s you and honestly i would rather keep it to your self. people have been to school and those with genuine interest to read the book will willingly do so. your publicity stunts on media platforms are a sure sign of where your loyalties lie. I hope the PM acknowledges your efforts . Cheers

  10. nicfx July 9th, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    I felt like commenting on all your paragraphs but that will be another article.. in brief Mr. Lister, you either have beef with Miguna or Rao is a very good friend of yours. I dont care about MMs intellectual level or professionalism, all I know is that Kenyans will get to know the real man behind the Rao’s face. But I must say, the book should be read with a pinch of salt because a lot of emotions went into it

  11. prophet6 July 10th, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Lister you are critisising a book you haven’t read? Anyway, I can tell from the article that you are RAO’s sychophant and whatever negative about him makes you shiver. We have heard from many quaters that the man is a reformer, an enigma, nationalist etc – Whether it is true or false lie in those who are close to him. Kenyans now have an opportunity to interogate the political character of a man they hype as an idol of change. To be honest I support MM and in the book, i expect to read what I already know.

  12. Erick July 10th, 2012 at 9:58 am

    This is a good case of Raila phobia and Raila Mania, i like it when people hope so strongly that something would have a perceived impact even when it is apparent that that will not be the case. Now talking about peoples private life, now imagine what would happen if somebody who has been working in state house started explaining to us why Lucy Kibaki is rarely seen in public. Would it be such an interesting thing to talk about or would people be so excited to read about it? Remember the past media attempt to talk about the like Mary Wambui had with the first family? what impact did it bring? so lets think twice before being exited about what we think will bring our opponents down.

    1. Kwessi Pratt July 10th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      @Erick – Thats when you get it all wrong! First lady has never pretended to be different from what she is. She has not monumentally confused mere amendment of a constitution with reformers and non-reformers. Madam first lady has not claimed to be the only reformer in a land of 40million people. First lady has not gone on rooftops to self praise. She hasnt fed Kenyans with cancerous maize while pretending to be their saviour. She hasnt stolen all the maize stocks to pave the way for her importation of bad maize. She never fired KEBS MD to make Kenyans access those bad maize while holding pretentious love for them. She never celebrated when our brothers were indicted by ICC. She certainly never called innocent Kenyans, with good intentions of reconciliation and national unity, watermelons. Surely, the first lady doesnt pretend to be the best leader on earth. But all the same, there is no harm at all in writing a book about state house issues. It happens every where on earth. However, those who have lied to Kenyans are terribly afraid of exposure of their true characters, THATS THE REAL FEAR HERE!!!!

  13. Omwenga Gisiora July 10th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”__ Voltaire

  14. Rose Kahendi July 11th, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    You really should have read the book before critiquing it, Mr. Nyaringo. I have not read it, and based on the excerpts I have read from it (in publicity materials) I do not intend to read it. But I still think it is only right and fair for people to read books in their entirety before trying to speak authoritatively on their merits & demerits.

  15. kacheroz July 12th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Hata mtu akienda diaspora anaendelea kuworship Raila…nkt. Your tribally motivated piece has been read and will be treated with the contempt it deserves.

    1. ERIQUE July 19th, 2012 at 10:52 am


  16. The Scribe July 17th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Let us give the Devil{read Miguna} his dues!In as much as i dont agree with the manner and timing of the release of Miguna’s book,i believe he has managed to spur debate among Kenyans.In all objectivity,if we as Kenyans take a moment to ponder over the pertinent issues raised-real or Imagined-then we would be in the right direction in as far as re-evaluation and vetting of our leaders in public office ahead of the next general elections

  17. wangu July 17th, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Nyaringo is somehow right if he has read the Miguna book and if the book is entirely about Raila. We need to rise above personal vendetta and produce biographies that can form historical references for generations to come.

    Miguna needed closure on his anger and bitterness before penning the book otherwise even his interviews are coming out raw and grazed with bitter content, even if with undoubtedly hilarious revelations. Its possible to say the same thing but use different wording eg by hiring an author to author ones biography. Likewise, its possible to talk with bitterness but somehow when we write it down its irretractable. Shall we fill our National Archives with bitter biographies from Colonial times, Kenyatta, Moi & Kibaki Eras (Errors!)? There has been bitter casualties who can write with equal conviction…
    That said, what Miguna has written will cost a lot to damage-control and to reverse our minds on what most already suspect to be a poorly unmasked truth. Its unlikely that someone can make up this kind of stuff and have the guts to pen it and publicise it.

  18. phill July 24th, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Mutahi Ngunyi an intellectual?i

    1. Kwessi Pratt July 27th, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      @phill: He is a huge tribalist driven by people with fake reform stickers. Political analysts are not made of twisted logic! I can only compare him with David Makali, the Odm operative, masquerading as analyst. Its a sorry state indeed!

  19. aruh February 24th, 2013 at 8:16 am

    miguna has gone mad!


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