Body Dysmorphia: Cheyenne
"Body dysmorphic disorder makes me feel horrible about myself. The amount of stress that I go through from day to day because of it is incredibly draining," Cheyenne reveals.
Bobette is perplexed by Cheyenne's distorted body image. "I want my daughter to see herself the way everyone else sees her," she says, blinking back tears.
Audience members can't mask their shock. Comments of "She's beautiful" fill the studio.
"What do you think about people's reaction who see you differently than you see yourself? Does that affect your thinking in any way?" Dr. Phil asks Cheyenne.
"Because I'm so insecure with the way I look, I hear other people make comments, â€˜Oh, she's so pretty.' 'She's beautiful,' and I think they're lying to me."
"I have no idea what's going on with her," she answers. "People tell her all the time how beautiful she is, from the time she was born. She was a beautiful baby, and I don't understand. I mean, she's gorgeous."
"Is there a level at which, intellectually, you say, â€˜I understand I must be distorting my perception'?" Dr. Phil asks Cheyenne.
"Yes," she replies.
"I won't disagree that those may be factors, but you have to understand, this isn't an issue of blame. Blame implies intent," Dr. Phil says.
"Just because someone is very concerned about their appearance does not mean it's BDD. There are many things going on. I agree with you, Dr. Phil, that because of the attention paid to her early on " being in pageants and what have you " so much of her sense of self was connected with her appearance. That means other areas of her were not built up, possibly," Arie deduces.
"The darkness under my eyes. I have dots on my nose that I see. My lips are not shaped the way I would like them to be, and I feel like my cheeks are just huge," she responds.
Cheyenne explains another sketching, a full-body portrait of herself. "My arms are very twiggy and small, but they're long," she points out. Gesturing to her thighs, she says, "This whole area of my body here, I feel, is overweight, and it's not proportionate to the rest of me."
"One hundred and five," she replies.
Dr. Phil contrasts a photo of Cheyenne in a bathing suit with her full-body drawing. "Do you see an inconsistency there?" he asks.
"I think I look hideous in that picture," she replies.
"No, I don't really," she replies. "As a child, I was never like this. I did not grow up this way."
"When I say that there may be an over-focus on that, you do understand that we're at war in Iraq, and we have a lot of homeless people in this world, and controversies about global warming, and AIDS, and cancer," Dr. Phil informs her. "There are a whole lot of issues that are kind of getting crowded off your radar screen by a complete and total focus of how you think your thighs look."
"Yes, I'm entirely aware of what's going on in the world, and that I'm pushing that aside," Cheyenne says.
Diana, the previous guest, issues a warning to the teen. "Don't ever, ever, let it get to a point where you've created your own prison," she cautions.