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Old 04-07-2010, 01:12 PM   #1
Green Eyed Fairy
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Default Body dysmorphic disorder

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Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) (previously known as Dysmorphophobia[1] is sometimes referred to as body dysmorphia or dysmorphic syndrome[2]) is a (psychological) anxiety disorder in which the affected person is excessively concerned about and preoccupied by a perceived defect in his or her physical features (body image). Depending on the individual case, BDD may either be an anxiety disorder or part of an eating disorder or both: BDD always includes a debilitating or excessive fear of judgement by others, as is seen with social anxiety, social phobia and some OCD problems; or alternately may be a part of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and compulsive overeating. Although the term "body dysmorphic disorder" itself describes only those excessive social acceptance fears that relate to one's personal body image. Depending on the individual it may or may not also be part of one of these wider or related syndromes.

The sufferer may complain of several specific features or a single feature, or a vague feature or general appearance, causing psychological distress that impairs occupational and/or social functioning, sometimes to the point of severe depression and anxiety, development of other anxiety disorders, social withdrawal or complete social isolation, and more.[3] It is estimated that 1–2% of the world's population meet all the diagnostic criteria for BDD (Psychological Medicine, vol 36, p 877).

The exact cause(s) of BDD differ(s) from person to person. However, most clinicians believe it could be a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors from their past or present. Abuse and neglect can also be contributing factors.[4][5]

Onset of symptoms generally occurs in adolescence or early adulthood, where most personal criticism of one's own appearance usually begins, although cases of BDD onset in children and older adults is not unknown. BDD is often misunderstood to affect mostly women, but research shows that it affects men and women equally.[citation needed]

The disorder is linked to significantly diminished quality of life and can be co-morbid with major depressive disorder and social phobia, also known as chronic social anxiety. With a completed-suicide rate more than double than that of major depression, and a suicidal ideation rate of around 80%, BDD is considered a major risk factor for suicide.[citation needed]

A person with the disorder may be treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. Research has shown cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to be effective in treating BDD.[citation needed] BDD is a chronic illness and symptoms are likely to persist, or worsen, if left untreated.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_dysmorphic_disorder
I sometimes wonder....could this be why I always see myself as "fatter", "bigger" than most people here...no matter what they say they weigh?
I find myself out in the world, always labeling myself "FATTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE". Why would I do that?

I have an eating disorder- one that is mentioned in the article. It wasn't until my time here, being constantly taken aback when a woman posts her weight and she weighs more than me. I see myself as much bigger and this spins my head into wondering if I'm built "wrong" or "funny" or if the height difference is that great, etc.
It's kind of frustrating.....this great inability to see myself how I am in the mirror. I see such lovely women here sometimes....with bodies I envy. I wish I could view my own without judgment of some sort. Even when I feel good about myself, I feel stinted in how I look upon myself. I would love to overcome this about myself.....but I think I have to figure out exactly what it is that I am doing and why. Could it be this?

I would love for others, not just BBW but others with an ED or information about them, to share their experiences with any of this.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:41 PM   #2
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Yeah, sounds like BDD to me.

The frustrating thing is that you aren't "doing" anything to cause or conjur the perception problem. It's a heartbreaking psychochemical ambush, not a bad habit.

Realizing and trusting that your perception is AFU is the first step. I feel a bit like a little kid frightened by scary shadows on her bedroom wall - I *know* they're not really monsters, even if they totally look like them. Convincing yourself that what you see isn't real doesn't fix the underlying aberration problem, but it does help diffuse the panic and anguish associated. I actually use a tape measure to provide reality checks when shit seems particularly out of control. It may seem silly, but it's a simple, empirical way to prove to yourself that you aren't any bigger than X/you're not any larger than you were yesterday when you felt you looked okay. At a certain point, you may even be able to study (like, really examining carefully...comparing arms or whatever in person is a huge reality check) yourself in comparison with others and come to the honest conclusion that the numbers are right after all.

My self-view fluctuates - does yours? The loathing seems to hit hardest at hormone whammy times. When I have a chemical reason to help explain *why* everything seems so distorted, it's easier to contextualize and combat the panic.

Do you fixate on certain body parts? Understanding the progresson of my fixation has actually helped me materialize the error in my perception; I started out as a child with the general "oh I'm just overall huge" perception, which later morphed into a fixation on a handful of body parts. In just the last year I've become almost wholly fixated on Blob, which is telling; I used to loathe my arms and butt, but now I don't. Yet, they haven't physically altered much if at all - it's my perception that's changed.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:51 PM   #3
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i think most women seem to have BDD in varying degrees these days. its seems that nearly everything in society is trying to help it along too. the media the health care industry seems to make tons of money from out insecurities. i have often wondered why there isn't more of a serious push to make people more aware and to treat it. i wonder if that was always true or is it just that we talk about our feelings about our bodies more?
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tania View Post
Yeah, sounds like BDD to me.

The frustrating thing is that you aren't "doing" anything to cause or conjur the perception problem. It's a heartbreaking psychochemical ambush, not a bad habit.

Realizing and trusting that your perception is AFU is the first step. I feel a bit like a little kid frightened by scary shadows on her bedroom wall - I *know* they're not really monsters, even if they totally look like them. Convincing yourself that what you see isn't real doesn't fix the underlying aberration problem, but it does help diffuse the panic and anguish associated. I actually use a tape measure to provide reality checks when shit seems particularly out of control. It may seem silly, but it's a simple, empirical way to prove to yourself that you aren't any bigger than X/you're not any larger than you were yesterday when you felt you looked okay. At a certain point, you may even be able to study (like, really examining carefully...comparing arms or whatever in person is a huge reality check) yourself in comparison with others and come to the honest conclusion that the numbers are right after all.

My self-view fluctuates - does yours? The loathing seems to hit hardest at hormone whammy times. When I have a chemical reason to help explain *why* everything seems so distorted, it's easier to contextualize and combat the panic.

Do you fixate on certain body parts? Understanding the progresson of my fixation has actually helped me materialize the error in my perception; I started out as a child with the general "oh I'm just overall huge" perception, which later morphed into a fixation on a handful of body parts. In just the last year I've become almost wholly fixated on Blob, which is telling; I used to loathe my arms and butt, but now I don't. Yet, they haven't physically altered much if at all - it's my perception that's changed.
It does seem like how I see myself is tied up in self esteem issues. When I have a really good, positive day....I look "not so bad" when I walk past my bathroom mirror.
What brought some of this up is a realization, lately, that I can't look in my mirror without looking for something to criticize. Everyone once in a while, I'm shocked to see someone that isn't the ugliness I'm expecting when I walk up on my reflection. It's obvious.....that what I'm seeing in the mirror is tied up to whatever is going on inside my head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by superodalisque View Post
i think most women seem to have BDD in varying degrees these days. its seems that nearly everything in society is trying to help it along too. the media the health care industry seems to make tons of money from out insecurities. i have often wondered why there isn't more of a serious push to make people more aware and to treat it. i wonder if that was always true or is it just that we talk about our feelings about our bodies more?
I suspect it starts early for girls/women. I think we are taught, through different subtle messages, to put ourselves down and that being "proud" or self confident is a bad thing to be.
I'm thinking about the 13 year old at my job that I had to weigh before escorting her back to a room.....she weighed under a 100 lbs and asked me if that number on the scale meant she is fat. How that bothered me...and made me wonder what people have been telling her at such a young age.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:42 PM   #5
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yes its crazy. you know if guys say they are handsome and are good looking everyone is fine with it. but if a woman says it she is suppsed to be vain and shallow or something. and we do kind of beat each other up for being good looking. everyone down plays the beauty of young girls. always saying how somene is not "all of that" when they enjoy their looks.

then too, i don't mean to diminish body dysmorphia at all but i think there are some people who don't actually have it who get off on the drama and muddy the water for people who really do.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:47 PM   #6
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Also, our nation's suicide rate is much more higher than our homicide rate, but the medical industry or CDC doesn't want to address that.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Green Eyed Fairy View Post
I sometimes wonder....could this be why I always see myself as "fatter", "bigger" than most people here...no matter what they say they weigh?
I find myself out in the world, always labeling myself "FATTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE". Why would I do that?

I have an eating disorder- one that is mentioned in the article. It wasn't until my time here, being constantly taken aback when a woman posts her weight and she weighs more than me. I see myself as much bigger and this spins my head into wondering if I'm built "wrong" or "funny" or if the height difference is that great, etc.
It's kind of frustrating.....this great inability to see myself how I am in the mirror. I see such lovely women here sometimes....with bodies I envy. I wish I could view my own without judgment of some sort. Even when I feel good about myself, I feel stinted in how I look upon myself. I would love to overcome this about myself.....but I think I have to figure out exactly what it is that I am doing and why. Could it be this?

I would love for others, not just BBW but others with an ED or information about them, to share their experiences with any of this.
I can relate to you, girl! I feel like I'm the biggest person in the world period. Even when I weighed 130 lbs. I thought I was too fat and that I looked deformed. And, that something must be terribly wrong with my appearance. And when people stare at me, I think they are making fun of me or are shocked at my deformity. I think my feelings are a lot more extreme than yours, though..
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by calauria View Post
I thought I was too fat and that I looked deformed. And, that something must be terribly wrong with my appearance.
"Deformed" ....my exact term for my own body for a long time. :/
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:37 AM   #9
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Default One mans perception, and struggle with the issue

I see other men with my basic build and I see slender, tone, fit, masculine. I look in my own mirror and see scrawny, lanky, feminine, unmanly.

I have come to accept and own my body as a part of who I am over the years. I understand that society perception of what is ideal in a male and that my body shape ranks below the measurement of that ideal is what taught me to see myself the way I do. Recently (in the last few years) I have started to understand that others don't see my body the way I have been schooled to see it from the cradle. Or, even that outside perception of my body no longer fits what I was taught about how to measure myself against that ideal. It starts with outside influence and sticks in the psyche past the point of where our bodies changed over the years. I know that my body is not the same as it was in my youth but lack the understanding of how it has changed and in what ways so that I can see it now as others do.
We forget that puberty changes perception not only in how our bodies look but suddenly that tall stringy body has an appeal that it didn't before. We tend to judge ourselves more based on what others perceived and described us as pre puberty.

With females I see it this way. A pre puberty body is not seen as sexual and therefore not judged with an eye toward sexuality beyond the ideal of a gender. Sexually women are supposed to be soft and sensuous, girls are not. So, a soft bodied girl is seen as fat, a soft bodied woman is seen as naturally feminine and sensual. How is she supposed to see herself when puberty in an average bodied girl adds natures fat padding in the hips and other places that make her more able to bear healthy children when all her life she has the idea planted in her mind that fat = ugly. Plus sizes start at 12-14 most chain stores stop carrying clothing in sizes higher than that. Fat is natural on a woman but most women who fit these sizes aren't called average they are called fat even though they may not weigh more than 125-150 lb. Our black and white world sees an ideal and an other than ideal, rarely does society see things in terms of average and rarely do people want to believe that they are only average. So anyone in these size ranges are labeled with parodizing descriptive terms described by media and other outsiders as fat and going up to cow, whale etc even if the woman being described fits average sizes and anyone below these sizes are termed ideal. What type of body image does that give a person who is larger than average if the average woman with an otherwise naturally slender figure is described as larger than average by the clothing industry, her peers, or her family especially if the descriptors are a parody of reality slanted to drive a point home in a visually graphic manner.
Is is any wonder then that we see ourselves differently than we see others.

I also feel that ones self perception is tainted by the messages we receive in childhood and we begin to compare ourselves not against others like us but to contrast against others we see as larger or smaller than ourselves. We gauge this comparison with the baseline provided as to what we were taught is the norm for our individual gender. Men must be muscular, women must be slender, by "X" standard of beauty. We begin to learn how to see ourselves by comparing what we learned as toddlers and above as to what we were taught was a standard of masculinity/femininity and what was considered beautiful or ugly in relation to those genders. We see that anything closer to that ideal is more beautiful, and any trait outside of that ideal is ugly period. Our mind sees others in the the grey shades in between the black and white scale because we have our own standard of what nature tells us is beautiful but we still judge ourselves unfairly on the black and white scale of the ideal we have been taught. I believe that this contrast auto ignores those most similar to ourselves because there is no basis with which to compare and contrast, or we look to those bodies for comparison and instead of seeing similarities we see the differences and compare those things instead by the same ruler in the same way that I described in my opening statement, however no two bodies are identical.
Something I have discovered in my study of the fat form is that if you took 100 womens bodies of identical height and weight no two women would be fat in the same way. None would be fat in exactly the same places or in the same shape. They are all just as beautiful even if my minds eye is more attracted to the apple as more beautiful, someone elses minds eye will see the pear the same way. Just as beautiful just in different ways to different people.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:06 AM   #10
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I have it, too, but in the opposite way. I never saw myself as fat until recently even though I am obese. I knew I was fat but just never really thought about it. I just lived.
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:54 PM   #11
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I don't feel any bigger than people when I am with them in person. However, it really shocks me when I see myself in photos or on video. I can't believe how huge I am.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:50 AM   #12
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Can one have reverse BDD? I look at myself in the mirror and think HOT DAMN and then I see some photographs and say, "I really didn't know I was that big" and it's not even a negative thing. More like a surprise.

People see the same photographs and say I look fantastic but I study them trying to be objective and can't reconcile those images to my own personal self-image.

I think there will always be two of me; one exceptionally confident, beautiful and extroverted and the other wondering if perhaps I might succumb to societal pressures so I could blend in better but the thing is is that I enjoy being the center of attention, but POSITIVE attention. Being who I am I get attention no matter what so how do I reconcile the two while remaining true to myself?
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:02 PM   #13
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I don't feel any bigger than people when I am with them in person. However, it really shocks me when I see myself in photos or on video. I can't believe how huge I am.
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Can one have reverse BDD? I look at myself in the mirror and think HOT DAMN and then I see some photographs and say, "I really didn't know I was that big" and it's not even a negative thing. More like a surprise.

People see the same photographs and say I look fantastic but I study them trying to be objective and can't reconcile those images to my own personal self-image.
I guess that is what I was talking about....I wonder if it's really true?
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:59 PM   #14
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I guess that is what I was talking about....I wonder if it's really true?
I think it's partly true and partly that we're our own worst critics.
Everyone and I mean EVERYONE has 'ugly' days and people who say they don't are in serious denial.
One odd thing I clearly remember--when I was a child, people outside my immediate family made me VERY conscious of my body-always asking if I needed to eat this or that, or that I was always up at the buffet (uh..so were THEY) etc., and yet when I look at THOSE pics of my child-body--I was NOT fat! I was normal and very active and healthy. It angers me because now it seems like a form of child abuse to tear down a happy innocent soul.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:29 PM   #15
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i think there are some people who don't actually have it who get off on the drama and muddy the water for people who really do.

......



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I have it, too, but in the opposite way. I never saw myself as fat until recently even though I am obese. I knew I was fat but just never really thought about it. I just lived.


We all have misconceptions of our bodies. We simply cannot view ourselves 'in the round' as others can view us. I have a hard time picking out someone who might be the same size as me- I just can't figure that one out- doesn't mean i have BDD.
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Old 04-14-2010, 05:07 PM   #16
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Can one have reverse BDD? I look at myself in the mirror and think HOT DAMN and then I see some photographs and say, "I really didn't know I was that big" and it's not even a negative thing. More like a surprise.

People see the same photographs and say I look fantastic but I study them trying to be objective and can't reconcile those images to my own personal self-image.

I think there will always be two of me; one exceptionally confident, beautiful and extroverted and the other wondering if perhaps I might succumb to societal pressures so I could blend in better but the thing is is that I enjoy being the center of attention, but POSITIVE attention. Being who I am I get attention no matter what so how do I reconcile the two while remaining true to myself?
This would be exactly me!!
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Old 04-14-2010, 05:55 PM   #17
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I think I have this, because when I go to bashes and people tell me I am skinny or whatever, I think they are on drugs. I always consider myself to be a lot bigger than what other people say I am.
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:26 PM   #18
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I think I have this, because when I go to bashes and people tell me I am skinny or whatever, I think they are on drugs. I always consider myself to be a lot bigger than what other people say I am.
It could be environment/context too. You might seem skinny to a 400+lb person, even though you're over 200lbs...which, isn't skinny at all. Sometimes where we are can distort our feelings/thoughts about the size of our bodies. Dims is the ONLY place I know of where 200lbs is thin and 350+ is pretty average.
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:47 PM   #19
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It could be environment/context too. You might seem skinny to a 400+lb person, even though you're over 200lbs...which, isn't skinny at all. Sometimes where we are can distort our feelings/thoughts about the size of our bodies. Dims is the ONLY place I know of where 200lbs is thin and 350+ is pretty average.
I can agree with this.

Just wonder why I still make others "thinner" than they are out in my reality, too, I noticed. I'm guessing that's what I do on Dims....make others "smaller" than they are as I do with people in my reality. I simply want to make myself "bigger" no matter what the actual sizes of people around me are.
The big difference being from what I do on seeing pictures on Dims and what I perceive in reality is that I tend to pay more attention to the fat women here because I identify with them more.....my 270 lb body more closely resembles a 400 lb paysite model than it does a 160 lb woman in reality.....with simple measurements probably being the only difference. Could that be where some of my confusion/misconceptions start? I suck at actual measuring dimensions...whether it be in the measurement of a home or a person's size.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:31 PM   #20
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I can agree with this.

Just wonder why I still make others "thinner" than they are out in my reality, too, I noticed. I'm guessing that's what I do on Dims....make others "smaller" than they are as I do with people in my reality. I simply want to make myself "bigger" no matter what the actual sizes of people around me are.
The big difference being from what I do on seeing pictures on Dims and what I perceive in reality is that I tend to pay more attention to the fat women here because I identify with them more.....my 270 lb body more closely resembles a 400 lb paysite model than it does a 160 lb woman in reality.....with simple measurements probably being the only difference. Could that be where some of my confusion/misconceptions start? I suck at actual measuring dimensions...whether it be in the measurement of a home or a person's size.
I'm so relieved to have found this thread. I was just thinking today that my own dysfunction (whatever the hell it actually is) is getting to the point of being frightening. It used to be that from day to day, my perception of my body would change. Now it seems more often at times; in the morning I'll see my body as far larger and rounder than I do in the afternoon.

Lately, I find myself convinced that I have gained a sum of weight based on how I see myself in the mirror-- strangely, however, when I look smaller, I don't think I've lost weight. Instead, I ponder if, perhaps, that's what I really look like. Sadly, at this point, I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that I don't really know what I look like at all. It makes me feel like I'm losing my mind.

I try to avoid discussing it with anyone for two reasons-- I don't want those who know me to think its some sort of attention-grabbing behavior, and I think that even if I could afford to discuss it with a professional, they would just confirm that I should come to grips with the image I see in the mirror on my worst day. Its probably irrational, but that's where I'm at.

Well, I guess I needed to vent.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:27 AM   #21
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......

We all have misconceptions of our bodies. We simply cannot view ourselves 'in the round' as others can view us. I have a hard time picking out someone who might be the same size as me- I just can't figure that one out- doesn't mean i have BDD.
I am the same way....cannot figure out who is the same size as me. But as pointed out earlier in the thread, fat women can carry their weight differently from one another which can make it even harder to figure.

Wish it had never been made to matter so much......

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Originally Posted by velia View Post
I'm so relieved to have found this thread. I was just thinking today that my own dysfunction (whatever the hell it actually is) is getting to the point of being frightening. It used to be that from day to day, my perception of my body would change. Now it seems more often at times; in the morning I'll see my body as far larger and rounder than I do in the afternoon.

Lately, I find myself convinced that I have gained a sum of weight based on how I see myself in the mirror-- strangely, however, when I look smaller, I don't think I've lost weight. Instead, I ponder if, perhaps, that's what I really look like. Sadly, at this point, I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that I don't really know what I look like at all. It makes me feel like I'm losing my mind.

I try to avoid discussing it with anyone for two reasons-- I don't want those who know me to think its some sort of attention-grabbing behavior, and I think that even if I could afford to discuss it with a professional, they would just confirm that I should come to grips with the image I see in the mirror on my worst day. Its probably irrational, but that's where I'm at.

Well, I guess I needed to vent.
I don't talk about it much out in reality either. Like you said, some people might take it wrong, as in I'm trying to pretend I'm some tiny thing (at 270, I doubt I'm fooling anyone ) or they think I'm a weirdo and obsessing over it.

Only person that I feel I ever got an honest answer from was my brother about it all. He comes with his own eating disorder so maybe that's why.

Good news is though, that as I gain more self-confidence and take care of the other issues/matters in my life, growing and making myself stronger on the inside.....the outside seems to look better to me, more often than not.
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:05 PM   #22
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I think I have a mild case of this, after dealing with quite a few friends with the problem. Seeing what it's like for them and hearing them speak about how they see their bodies, I know I'm similar. I do obsess about my size... Scared that I look bigger than I am, etc.
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