I've known I had OCD since I was a young boy and I am 19 now. But recently I fear I've developed a bad case of BDD(which I have had for a while, but never this bad0
BDD is "Body dysmorphic disorder" which is a mental disorder where people are excessivley concerned about their appearance. I have been totally worried that I am going bald because I have a "Norwood 2" mature hairline that a lot of white men get. There's no real history of baldness in my family, my dad has a pretty much identical hairline that I do, I look at my hairline every day and see that it is a Norwood 2 and even have pictures from when I was like 15 where have the same hairline that I did three years ago. One friend told me I looked bald and was serious about it and can't get it out of my head. Even though compared to other people we hang out with my hair is good. My family tells me I am worrying about nothing, I am constantly look at celebs and other mens hairlines, I am constantly comparing my hair to the online Norwood chart and see that I am a Norwood 2, but I can't get it through my head. Tonight I just spent an hour looking at my hair, a while back I spent about two hours, then I feel fine. It drives me crazy. Then I incorporate the hair disorder into my daily OCD(which I have been limiting), which makes it worse.
I have OCD about a lot. Any negative thought no matter how minor gets my warrented OCD(cracking knuckles, blinking, swallowing, more OCD). If I see a bald guy I do OCD, if I see a crippled person I do OCD, if I see anyone I feel sorry for I do OCD, if I think something negative I do OCD. OCD has never been a huge problem until I've incorporated it with the BDD that I've recently acquired.
What should I do??!! Like what kind of doctor should I see when I return from college and what should I do to maintain my problem???!! I've been told my professor I have a great future ahead of me, I am a really chill guy, calm, easy going, easy to get along with. It's like when I am alone I am consumed with OCD and BDD, and it's getting worse.....
What you describe is so typical for OCD - you know in your heart that you are NOT going bald, that you just have that specific hairline, but something still keeps teasing you, hitting at you with all those unlikely "what if"s and "what if anyway"s... while it is clear that you are just obsessing!
The comment from that guy - ha, I guess some people make comments about somebody glooking bald if their hairline is just a little bit furtehr back than others. Don'tt ake that to heart! It was probably meant more as a joke anyway.
(Plus, consider this, even if you WERE going bald, what would worrying do to change it? Nothing. Just make you miserable. Wouldn't be worth it.)
1) You are most most most most likely not going bald.
(it's a very genetic thing, isn't it??)
2) Even if you were, it would not be worth worrying about. (There really are worse thigns aren't there!)
Oh, hey, I just remember now, about 3 (?) years ago I had a cyst cut on the back of my head and for a month or two I had a bald spot there and I remember yeah I WAS worried it might not grow back. So it's not like I don't understand at all. I could have dealt with it though. And it did start growing back. Imagine how I lived those first fuzzy hairs that sprouted there...
This might console you: In a few months or so you'll probably look back on this and laugh at yourself.
You need to tackle the OCD though, I would say. Because it tends to want to stick around.
(Which in my opinion is much more uncomfortable than baldness.)
Are you in therapy at all? Are you getting any kind of help/support?
Thanks for your response. Helpful to know people are interested and concerned.
Well my friend said that about me because i don't have a childs hairline anymore, my hair is thin(not thinning!, my dad has thin hair and i've always had thin hair), and I would wore it up like an afro making the hairline noticible. However, my hair line accoring to several online sources is normal and it happens to white guys from 17-29 and it happens to 95% of white men as they go through that time. It makes me feel ashamed to wear my hair like that now so I normally afro it up but cover the temple area where it looks bad. I pray all the time, and do OCD when I think about going bald, but if my hair did get noticibly worse, I would get on some kind of treatment or something. I've already bought some kind of special shampoo(which I used once and was like *** am i doing) and adjusted my regular shampoo. I couldn't imagine how people with a real receding hairline must feel and what if they had OCD or the same low-self esteem that I do.... =XX
It's like I know with my family history, treatment options, and all factors considered, it still horrifies me to death and it's hard for me to get over.
I have a birthmark on my face and a few years ago I went through kind of the same thing. I though of getting it removed and constantly looked at it and felt it brought down my whole image. So it's not the first time this has happened to me.
I wouldn't even know what kind of therapy or support to go to. My history of OCD has been probably at least since I was eight when it was really bad and my family noticed it. Saying like "why do you keep on doing that?" and that's been at least since I was eight. Then I have pretty much maintained it less noticibly(cracking knuckles, blinking, swalloing) since around age eleven or twelve. So I think it's safe to say I've had it for 10 years. The BDD thing came and gone several times...birthmark, body, the way I talk, and now hair. The BDD however has happened later on in life probably around high school or so.
I mean I can maintain the OCD fairly well(I think) without BDD or at least it would be much less consuming if I didn't have BDD. But when I have this BDD my OCD has increased dramatically, probably by about 5-10 times than normally. Like I said whenever I see someone bald or with a bad hairline I do OCD.
The thing with OCD is, the more you "do OCD", as you call it, the more persistent it tends to get.
It's like you give it strength by following its "orders".
The kind of therapy that has proven effective for OCD is cognitive-behavioral therapy. Starting with your smallest fears, the person learns to resist doing the OCD ritual. That will cause anxiety in the beginning, but you will soon realize that the anxiety decreases again, and the relief you feel then is a long-lasting relief.
(By doing the ritual/compulsion you only get a short term relief, the OCD later usually coming back with a vengeance.)
The other thing that can really help are medications, SSRIs such as Prozac etc. They kind of provide a floor for your anxiety (at least that's how I, and some others I have heard of/from, ahve experienced it).
Often the two are combined.
You could also start by having a look at the book "Brain Lock" by Jeffrey (?) Schwartz, it provides a iind of step by step self help program and also explains a lot about OCD.
I waited with getting help for a long time, and then I started with the wrong kind of therapy (psychoanalytically oriented). I think getting help in time can spare a lot of suffering. But of course whether or not you want to treat the OCD also depends on how much you are suffering, how much your life is affected.
It sounds like you have reached a point where the OCD is interfering with your life to the point that you are willing and able to work with a mental health professional to achieve some measure of improvement. Start with finding out what kind of mental health coverage you have through your health insurance. Get a list of the mental health care providers that are eligible under your insurance. If it's a short list, call them and ask if they specialize in treating OCD. If it's a really long list, you can first ask a trusted doctor to recommend several from the list, and then you can call to verify whether they specialize in OCD.
By the way, as far as baldness and genetics goes, whether your mother's father is bald is the real determining factor.
If you do go bald and find you are not able to accept yourself as a bald man, you could get transplants or a toupee.
My uncle has worn toupees for many years. One time my uncle was playing the outfield in a baseball game with his son (my cousin). My cousin was pitching. The batter sent the ball into the outfield near my uncle. As my uncle leaned down to catch the ball, his toupee slipped off, but he was able to catch the ball in his mitt and put the toupee back on with his other hand. "Great catch, Dad!" called out my cousin.
I would recommend talking to someone who specializes in OCD. I have had all kinds of OCD "quirks" throughout the years. The most annoying is the swallowing, so I can relate with you. I noticed that you mentioned your blinking as well. I've had the blinking problem before, but it easily went away. The swallowing also went away before and then came back under some stress. I'm trying hard not to go the medication route, but that is a personal decision. It could be a lifesaver for someone else. I, am, however, in therapy. We are working on my smaller issues first, i.e. counting things that I eat, not wiping water drips from the showerhead, listening to dripping water (hate that noise!) and turning stove knobs only once. I would imagine that we'll work for my more distressing ones in the weeks to come. I have a very strong faith in God to be healed of this disorder. : ) I noticed that you mentioned that you pray. I think that's a wonderful start, provided that it's not part of the OCD ritual process. I would also try and eat healthy and exercise to reduce stress and make you feel better. I am planning on seeing a nutritionist who specializes in increasing serotonin through diet. I am hoping it will also give me some relief. My thoughts are prayers are with you.