"People with BDD see themselves differently from the way everyone else sees them," Dr. Phillips adds. And, as Jenny's ongoing struggle shows, surgery cannot cure BDD.
"Most people with BDD don't want to be unusually beautiful. Most people just want to look normal, and acceptable," Dr. Phillips says. "They want to blend in and not feel deviant in some way. It's so difficult for people to understand this illness. Family members try to talk to the person out of their concern…'You're beautiful.' But that doesn't work. You need the right psychiatric treatment to get better. This can be a devastating illness, but the good news is that most people get better with the right treatment."
"I didn't realize it was as extreme [her plastic surgeries and BDD] as it really was, nor did I realize it was that extreme for different people in different forms," Jenny says. "I try to occupy my time in other ways and stay really busy doing important things. I try to stay away from the mirror when I'm not feeling good about myself. I try not to obsess about it so much, I see a psychiatrist, and take medication that helps. I feel like I'm getting better."
A major concern of Jenny's is her nose. Jenny already has trouble breathing through her nose because of previous surgeries. What Jenny didn't expect was for her doctor to tell her that she would no longer be able to receive plastic surgery on her nose—there would be too great of a risk of her nose collapsing. Jenny broke down crying at the news. Now, she is trying to face the music.
"I can continue to get a series of shots that will reduce the scar tissue," Jenny says. "But knowing that I can't get another nose job was the end of the line for me. This is it. I have to decide, which I have, to live with the nose that I have on my face, as it is right now, forever."
Despite being 28 years old and having 28 plastic surgeries, Jenny believes her case of BDD is not as serious as Taryn's or Jesse's.
"Their situation is clearly very worse than mine, and very different than mine. … To hear their stories, [how they're not able to] function, was another level from where I am. I think I'm in a different situation. I recognize it, I'm not in denial. I'm getting help for it. "
"I know I'm going to lose some friends out there or customers for talking about this, but I'd rather be honest and help people," Bobbi says. "I just don't get what's happening. All women do is feel bad about the way they look. Society is really pressuring women to look young. I think the older women get, it's such a mistake because if you're doing a plastic surgery to try to look younger, it doesn't work. You just look like you've had plastic surgery."
Bobbi believes it's time we stop the game of comparison before it takes over our lives.
"Women look at images in magazines," she says. "Covers of magazines are paintings! It's a work of art—hairdressers, makeup artists, stylists, and forget about the little surgeries or the big surgeries they've had. It's not realistic. I think American women have to break the cycle immediately. Stop looking at what's out there. If you are constantly comparing yourself to people around you—trust me—there are people that are better looking than you, taller, skinnier, richer, nicer, more talented. Stop! It's not important. It's really about yourself."