Dr Phil: Automatic Thoughts & Body Dysmorphic Disorder Recovery

Dr Phil: Low Self Esteem

Dr Phil talked with 15-year-old Meghan, who suffers from low self esteem and erratic behavior. Mother Christine cannot avoid getting dragged into the fray when she goes down this path of compulsive automatic thoughts.

The family does not know what to do that could help Meghan. Dr Phil took the teen to his magic wall to show her what could be going on with her. She suffers from thoughts that do not stop, such as that she is ugly.

Dr Phil: Automatic Thoughts

Meghan also listed her weight, the feeling she ruins everything, and a lack of parental love among the compulsive thoughts she cannot escape. Dr Phil explained to everyone that this type of pattern is called Automatic Thoughts.

“They become so rehearsed that we don’t even have to do ‘em consciously,” he explained. Once you begin having Automatic Thoughts, they can be repeated in the brain around 10,000 times each day.

Dr Phil: Negative Automatic Thoughts

Dr Phil: Automatic Thoughts & Body Dysmorphic Disorder Recovery

Dr Phil explained that Meghan’s low self esteem is caused by a constant barrage of automatic thoughts that were instilled when she was bullied in school.

He said that anyone in that situation would feel sad and negative. Dr Phil suspected that middle school bullies helped to instill these thoughts in her brain. But she is not fat and ugly, as Dr Phil said.

He crossed out the negative thoughts she listed, but Meghan did not believe that those thoughts are false. She just believes these things because she has told them to herself so much.

Dr Phil: Erasing Automatic Thoughts

Meghan started getting bullied around age 12, and it has taken a dramatic toll on her life and self esteem. Dr Phil had her face the audience, who gave her a standing ovation in the hope of turning the page so she can end her pain.

Dr Phil’s wife, Robin, was in the audience. She told Meghan that she was “precious,” “beautiful,” and “you deserve to be happy.” Robin bounded up onto the stage to give Meghan a big hug.

Dr Phil: Automatic Thoughts Treatment

Meghan has been bullied for so many years that she now believes the taunts are facts. Dr Phil had some advice to help her move past her negative automatic thoughts. What can be done to get solutions for those in need?

Dr Phil: OCD Vs Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Dr Phil said there are many different labels or possible diagnoses for the stories he heard from Meghan and April, including:

  • OCD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Dr Phil: Body Dysmorphic Disorder Recovery

He said that labeling the behavior is not as important as ending the vicious cycle of self hatred. There is help that can address these problems and patterns. Dr Phil said he would help Meghan get the help she needed to deal with this problem in her life.

He also introduced Rebecca, who also secretly battled Body Dysmorphic Disorder for 10 years. She has been through treatment and therapy. Now she said she is in recovery and wants to help others.

“You can’t deny yourself of the things you deserve,” Rebecca said. Here’s hoping that Meghan and April get the help they desperately need to turn their lives around.

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About the author

Pat Howard is a writer from St. Louis. He was born with a remote control in his hand, and is grateful to finally have a haven at Recapo for his pathological love of daytime television.

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