Patience is enormously helpful! It’s needed when waiting for a response to medication. While some people respond relatively quickly—within a few weeks—it often takes longer. A medication may take up to three months—and occasionally even longer— to work. If the first medicine doesn’t work, another should be tried. Occasionally, it takes many tries to find the right one. Persistence and patience are needed in such cases.
Similarly, CBT can take time to work. It can take creativity and a good understanding of the person and their symptoms to come up with the cognitive and behavioral strategies that will work for them. As with medications, more than one try may be needed.
You’ll also need to be patient when implementing the suggestions in this chapter and while waiting for symptoms and functioning to improve. Some people improve fairly quickly, whereas others need more time. Patience is also needed if symptoms flare during stressful times.
For people who are reluctant to get adequate treatment, keep in mind that time and your continued support can make a big difference. I’ve treated many people with BDD who finally, after many years—even many decades—of suffering, decided to give psychiatric treatment a try. In many of these cases, the continued support and patience of family members made all the difference.