Breast implant illness (BII)-related self-doubt is its own beast. To tame it, you need a different approach. This article reveals why your mind struggles with BII-related self-doubt. It also shares several Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)-based approaches to ease its continuous drain on your body and mind.
What drives your BII-related self-doubt?
BII-related self-doubt is unlike the self-doubt you experience when questioning your ability to make something happen. When you suspect you have BII, self-doubt may be fueled by any or all of the following:
Human minds like to be certain. Currently, there’s no known biomarker that identifies BII as the underlying cause of your symptoms. (Learn more about BII testing here.) BII also lacks a formal medical diagnosis. Many times, you consider BII only after a lengthy process ruled out other known causes for your symptoms. For some, this lack of diagnostic certainty fuels self-doubt.
Human minds like exactness. Unfortunately, many of BII’s symptoms are non-specific and easy to misattribute to things like aging and changing hormones. They also vary in how they appear from person to another. Understandably, self-doubt often shows up when you’re unsure your symptoms are caused by your implants.
Human minds prefer straightforward things. Details around BII’s onset and progression are not well-understood. Though explant often quickly resolves BII’s symptoms, the recovery process also varies by person. These unknowns and variability fuel self-doubt.
Human minds are soothed by predictability, reliability, and steadiness. Unfortunately, BII is mired in debate, denial, and dismissiveness. The many reasons for societal denial of BII are beyond the scope of this article, but BII-related self-doubt understandably shows up when you receive conflicting opinions, are gas lit, or told things like: it’s all in your head, BII isn’t real, or there’s no scientific proof of BII.
Human minds care very much about social standards. Like it or not, those mounds of flesh are prized in our breast-obsessed society. So, the stakes are high when it comes to removing breast implants. BII-related self-doubt often reflects an underlying longing to know that explant will restore your health and be worth the social risk.
What does BII-related self-doubt cost you?
BII-related self-doubt leads to prolonged exposure to the problematic breast implants inside your body. While you wrestle with confirmation or explore other possible explanations for your symptoms, your body continues losing its battle against the bags. When your self-doubt is high, it also disconnects you from your own inner wisdom around your body’s suffering and interferes with how you show up for yourself.
How can you manage your self-doubt?
White knuckling your way through BII-related self-doubt only adds to your body’s stress. The following ACT-based approaches may help you be less impacted when self-doubt is with you:
Notice and name
Acknowledge the aspects of BII’s diagnosis, progression, or recovery that your mind struggles against. Genuinely validate that BII-related self-doubt is a natural reaction to a situation with many aspects that the human mind dislikes. Also, look beyond BII for additional reasons you may want to remove your breast implants (described here). Knowing and naming other ways your implants impact you can soften the pressure to be “sure” you’ll recover from BII.
Treat it like you would a butterfly that landed on your hand
Rather than grasping at it or convincing yourself it’s here to stay, curiously observe your doubt while it’s with you. Look at it from all angles. Look underneath it for harder-to-see emotions. Find ways to care for any overshadowed fear, sadness, or frustration that also needs your attention.
Be aware of the difference between you and your thoughts and feelings. Self-doubt may be an attention-hog in your mind, but it can’t prevent YOU from pursuing what matters to you. When your self-doubt interferes with how you want to be, treat it like an ad on your phone: see it without acting on its content. This is even more important when you want something that’s not possible right now, like an unambiguous diagnosis or more exacting symptoms.
Connect with others
Support your drained nervous system through connection with others around the mental and emotional aspects of breast implants and their removal. Join Breast Implant Through Explant (BRITE™) Inner Companions.
Use your inner BRAKE
When your BII-related self-doubt feels overwhelming, use your inner BRAKE, a science-based inner skill to steady and ready yourself throughout your journey with breast implants. Download here.