They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if the beholder has body dysmorphia, they can never truly appreciate what's in front of them. Stephen Forde, 49, has spent $150,000 making tweaks and adjustments to his face in hopes of seeing perfection, no matter how unattainable the concept is.
In addition to suffering from body dysmorphia, Forde also struggles with OCD, calling his life a "living hell."
On suffering from the two disorders, he says, "Over the years of having OCD and BDD - it's horrible. It's like dealing with the devil. It's awful. It's debilitating. You still get these people who are like: 'go get a job' but it's ridiculous because it's a physiological disorder."
In his quest for perfect, he says he'll go for days without eating, exercise until he collapses, constantly wear latex gloves, and only eat off of disposable plates.
Forde's OCD compels him to live the most hygienic life possible, no matter what the costs. Forde admits, "There were times when I would wash my hands 75 times a day. My hands were raw. I'd take three-hour showers regularly. It's exhausting. You feel you are going to die when you get out the shower."
People suffering from OCD are often psychologically pressured to go through a series of "rituals," whether that be turning a light switch on and off a set number of times or regularly using a sink. Those rituals are prioritized over other daily activities, including showing up for jobs on time.
Of the ritual compulsion, Forde explains, "If you don't do the ritual you feel something really bad is going to happen. Some people relate it to thinking something bad is going to happen to a relative, something won't work or something catastrophic will happen."
Despite having had long-term relationships, Forde says that the unique blend of OCD and BDD result in more of "serious friendships" than a traditional relationship. Forde confesses, "I'm afraid of sexual activity. With BDD you want to look perfect when you take your clothes off and then there's also the issue of contamination if they get in your bed and then you wash all your sheets and clothes again."
Forde tries to keep in good spirits, no matter what the difficulties of dealing with psychological issues cause him. "You try and have a sense of humor about it – that seems to help," says Forde. "Not take it so seriously so you just kind of have to laugh at it and get through it."
[H/T Daily Mail]