Body dysmorphic disorder is when you become obsess with a possible imperfection that you may have and flaws in your appearance. Sometimes these flaws are not even there, there in your head. This is something I struggled with for quite some time. I want to share how I’ve started to care more about my body and also share how important self love is.
The negative thoughts towards my body started at an extremely young age. I was in the first grade and I thought I was “fat”. Looking back on this, I obviously wasn’t fat. It’s confusing to look back and wonder why I was feeling this way at such a young age. My main focus on my body was my legs. I hated them and for some reason I just thought that they where too big. I was also bullied a lot and didn’t have a good home life. These where definitely huge contributions to my low self esteem.
When looking back at pictures from when I was a child, I was not fat. I looked like an average child,
but when looking at these pictures I sometimes can’t help but analyze every aspect of my body, especially the way my legs look in the photo.
The worst part about of all this was that I was to young explain or understand what I was feeling. You can’t start working on an issue until you know what the issue actually is. Being so young I wasn’t able to understand this.
Middle school was especially rough. Everyone in middle school feels a bit insecure. It’s hard, your body and mind start to change and this becomes very emotional. I experimented a lot with dieting, diet pills and lots of exercises, specifically leg exercises. My good friend was in a very similar situation to me and would support me, but wouldn’t always support me in the right ways. We where negative influences to each other.
Something huge I noticed in many people with body dysmorphic disorder is how much you begin to compare little things about others to yourself. You might notice things about others that you wish you had on yourself.
This is something I did often. I would stare at others, comparing little things about them to little things about myself.
What started this comparing is girls that are displayed in the media. I wanted my body to be like theirs, as most young girls do. It can be scary to see how there are so many brands such as ‘Victoria’s secret’ that only display ‘picture perfect’ bodies. This was a huge influence on me and many other girls I knew in middle school. We all would look at a Victoria’s secret catalog and strongly admire these girls.
I realized I had to stop looking to other people/ models and stop comparing myself to others to begin to love myself.
“The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes to every one else’s highlight reel.” – Steven Furtick
Another huge insecurity I had growing up besides my legs, was my hair. Everyone would bully me for hair being to messy and too greasy. Something I did to cope with my insecurity on my hair is scalp is I began to pick and peel at the skin on my scalp. Ew, right?
I didn’t get this habit under control until about a year and a half ago. It became a serious addictive habit at the time.
I never talked about any of my body insecurities or skin picking to anyone….
Until I started a program at a hospital. I was in CBT in the past but never an actual hospital program, so I took advantage of this opportunity to get better.
They put me on new medications that I’ve never tried in the past and these actually helped more than I thought they could. The medication was only half of the battle though, I still had to work on and develop the coping skills to help me with my issues.
I made it a point to stop comparing myself to others and whenever I felt myself doing so, I would tell my self that I don’t know what goes behind the scenes for them and that they may have there own insecurities as well.
This was a long battle I had with myself. I’ve made it so far by practicing self love and taking good care of my body by regularly staying active. I’m not giving up.
I want you all to know that help is out there. If you can’t find your way now, you’ll find it someday, never let your insecurities win. Do what makes you feel happy and love yourself.
There is only one you, you only have one body, show yourself the love everyone deserves.
Feel free to Contact Me. Or leave a comment!
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Eating Disorders
National Mental Health Association Hotline
Crisis Call Center
800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863