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HOW BDD AFFECTS LIVES – SOCIAL CONCEQUENCES – OTHER PROBLEMS: BRIGHT LIGHTS AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES

Harry rarely went to movies, and when he did he tried to avoid being seen. “I always sit in the back row so people can’t sit behind me and laugh at the shape of my head,” he told me. Curt walked behind people and sat in the back of the class so no one could see the slight hair thinning on the back of his head. He also always waited for an empty elevator. Jesse avoided dancing, which he loved, because he thought everyone would laugh at his supposedly bowed legs.
Many people, especially those concerned about facial defects, avoid bright lights, which could illuminate the perceived defect. “At parties, I’m very uncomfortable hanging out in the kitchen with bright lights,” a 26-year-old computer programmer told me. “I prefer a darker room.” Others avoid restaurants with bright lighting, or find a dark booth in the back, so they can’t be seen. Some people quit their jobs, or never accept one in the first place, if they have to work under fluorescent lights. In BDD-treatment groups I ran, the group members tried to avoid sitting next to the window, because they feared their defects would be more visible in brighter light. Several men have told me that they know everything about lighting. As one said, “I’m an expert on lights. I’d be a darn good lighting salesman!” will be more exposed—large hips or thighs, small breasts, small body build, thinning hair, skin defects, or cellulite. In addition, wind and water can easily ruin camouflage and painstaking grooming: makeup runs, bronzers streak, and hair styles are destroyed.
Some people avoid the things they love most. Greg avoided sports, even though he’d been an excellent athlete and had played on several varsity teams in high school. Although he was muscular and in excellent physical shape, he feared that people would see his “small and puny” body build, and stopped playing altogether. Loni didn’t play on her high school field hockey team because it would mess up her hair. “I missed a very important thing,” she told me. “I loved playing team sports—it was what I liked best of all in high school.”
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HOW BDD AFFECTS LIVES – SOCIAL CONCEQUENCES – OTHER PROBLEMS: BRIGHT LIGHTS AND LEISURE ACTIVITIESHarry rarely went to movies, and when he did he tried to avoid being seen. “I always sit in the back row so people can’t sit behind me and laugh at the shape of my head,” he told me. Curt walked behind people and sat in the back of the class so no one could see the slight hair thinning on the back of his head. He also always waited for an empty elevator. Jesse avoided dancing, which he loved, because he thought everyone would laugh at his supposedly bowed legs.Many people, especially those concerned about facial defects, avoid bright lights, which could illuminate the perceived defect. “At parties, I’m very uncomfortable hanging out in the kitchen with bright lights,” a 26-year-old computer programmer told me. “I prefer a darker room.” Others avoid restaurants with bright lighting, or find a dark booth in the back, so they can’t be seen. Some people quit their jobs, or never accept one in the first place, if they have to work under fluorescent lights. In BDD-treatment groups I ran, the group members tried to avoid sitting next to the window, because they feared their defects would be more visible in brighter light. Several men have told me that they know everything about lighting. As one said, “I’m an expert on lights. I’d be a darn good lighting salesman!” will be more exposed—large hips or thighs, small breasts, small body build, thinning hair, skin defects, or cellulite. In addition, wind and water can easily ruin camouflage and painstaking grooming: makeup runs, bronzers streak, and hair styles are destroyed.Some people avoid the things they love most. Greg avoided sports, even though he’d been an excellent athlete and had played on several varsity teams in high school. Although he was muscular and in excellent physical shape, he feared that people would see his “small and puny” body build, and stopped playing altogether. Loni didn’t play on her high school field hockey team because it would mess up her hair. “I missed a very important thing,” she told me. “I loved playing team sports—it was what I liked best of all in high school.”*129\204\8*

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