PBB: Alexa has body dysmorphia, psychologist says

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 19 2021 09:37 PM

Kapamilya Online Live
Photo from Kapamilya Online Live

After tackling attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a “Pinoy Big Brother” psychologist shed light on the mental health condition called body dysmorphia, where one worries too much about defects in his/her appearance. 

This, after actress Alexa Ilacad opened up on her growing insecurity about her body weight since joining showbiz at an early age.

In a tearful episode, Ilacad first talked to fellow housemate Benedix Ramos on thinking too much about what some people used to tell about her body size.

“All my life lalo na growing up in the industry, all I've been hearing is ang taba mo, magpapayat ka...wala kang project kasi mataba ka. That stuck in my head forever. Kahit si Justin Bieber pa magsabi sakin na ang ganda-ganda ko o ang ganda ng katawan ko hindi ko siya kayang paniwalaan,” she revealed. 

To help Ilacad, “Big Brother” allowed the actress to talk with the show’s resident psychologist-psychiatrist Dr. Randy Dellosa, who later gave his initial diagnosis.

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“Sabi niya, he maybe diagnosing me with major depressive disorder caused by body dysmorphia,” a crying Ilacad told “Kuya.”

“I see myself differently than how it looks. When I look in the mirror I feel disgusted. I despised the person I see in the mirror,” she added. 

Ilacad admitted she never sought help before meeting Dellosa. She went on to compare herself to girls who have more slim bodies.

“I just never got the help that I need. Now, I know ito pala yun. I've been in the industry for more than half of my life, starting as a kid. I never was the thin type. My body type was different from all the other girls. That made me hate myself. I tried all kinds of diets, workout,” she explained. 

The actress also said she was hesitant to open up her problem to other people, thinking that she may be petty for worrying too much about her weight.

“Kuya”, then, reminded the celebrity to open herself to other housemates and let them understand and help in her ordeal. 

“Wag mong maliitin ang nararamdaman mo. Ikinalulungkot ko ang pinagdadaanan mo. 'Wag mong isipin na hindi nila kayang maintindihan. Don't count your housemates out,” Big Brother said.

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According to Dellosa, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is an elevated feeling of insecurity about one’s appearance. 

“Kailangan natin maintindihan, naiiba yung normal insecurities. Sa normal insecurities natin, naba-bother tayo but we can let it go. Whereas sa BDD, dun sila obsessed, dun sila nagpo-focus,” he quipped. 

The psychiatrist also added that BDD is sometimes triggered by a situation or certain environment -- and in Ilacad’s case, the entertainment culture. 

“Alam naman natin yung value sa entertainment industry ay yung physical na itsura, good looks. Syempre nakakapag-pressure yun sa tao,” Dellosa said. 

Eian Rances and the rest of the housemates, meanwhile, assured Ilacad of their support.