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Alexa Ilacad Opens Up After Being Diagnosed With Body Dysmorphic Disorder: 'When I look in the mirror, I feel disgusted'

'After kong kumain, sinisilip ko yung tiyan ko sa salamin.'
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PHOTO: Instagram/alexailacad
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Alexa Ilacad has been initially diagnosed with major depressive disorder caused by body dysmorphic disorder or BDD. BDD is a mental health condition wherein a person constantly worries about their flaws and how they look. Anyone can have BDD, but it commonly affects teenagers.

In a recent episode of Pinoy Big Brother, Alexa opened up to "Kuya" and fellow housemates Benedix Ramos and Eian Rances about her struggles growing up, especially upon entering showbiz. 

"I was never the thin type," Alexa told "Kuya." "My body type was different from all the other girls. That made me hate myself. I tried all kinds of diets and workouts, everything."

"I've been told so many things like, 'Hindi ka kinukuha sa ganitong show kasi mataba ka,' 'Kayo ng love team mo, mukha kayong number 10, ikaw yung 0,' so maybe just having had to go through that for so long led to this."

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"It's like a wound in my heart that never heals and when you touch it, you can feel how painful it is."

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Alexa told Benedix that she's tried not eating in four days, but she knows this is not okay and that she needs help. She also confided in Eian how she feels every time she looks in the mirror.

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Alexa: "I think I'm fat, yes. Hindi mo ba nakikita, after kong kumain, sinisilip ko yung tiyan ko sa salamin? Every morning, una kong ginagawa tinitingnan ko yung sarili ko sa salamin tapos nalulungkot ako kasi hindi ko gusto yung nakikita ko."

While Eian tried to encourage Alexa to be strong, Alexa said she chooses not to talk about the matter with other housemates because she knows how they will react and she feels opening up about it is petty. She also said that she might be judged, misunderstood, and no matter if people compliment her about her looks, she still won't believe them.

"Isipin niyo para 'kong tanga. Hyprocite. Fishing for compliments. But no. I don't care. Kahit sabihin niyong lahat na ako ang pinakamaganda sa buong mundo, hindi ko 'yon mapapaniwalaan kasi hindi 'yon ang tingin ko sa sarili ko."

"Normal people can let go of their insecurities, pero sa BDD, o body dysmorphic disorder, doon sila obsessed, doon sila nagfo-focus," explained Dellosa.

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He also said that environmental or situational factors can worsen one's symptoms of BDD, and that people may tend to dismiss it or minimize it. He encouraged the public to be mindful and open when speaking with someone with BDD, and to just listen without judgment.

"Alam naman natin na may value sa entertainment industry yung physical na itsura, yung good looks, and siyempre nakakapag-pressure 'yon sa tao," he said. "And sa taong may risk of BDD ay lalong lumalakas pa dahil sa pressure to look good."

Alexa also shared with her housemates that while she's still in the healing process, she's making an effort to seek help and to look at herself more positively.

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"I've had my breakdown a few days ago. Obviously, I'm not healed but I'm going through that process and baby steps, getting the help that I need and trying my best to look at myself in a different light."