This guest blogger post comes courtesy of a friend I met online, Megs, who is an amazing advocate for all types of mental health awareness.
She writes for her own blog, astigmafreezone.wordpress.com , and also does YouTube videos; sharing from her heart and helping to inspire others. As a senior in college, she also enjoys coffee, books, film, and working out.
I’m excited to have my pal share a guest post here on SMP; thank you so much Megs for all that you do and for the encouragement and validation you give to so many.
Imagine yourself looking into the mirror & not being happy with what you saw even though others believed you had the perfect figure. They envied you because your perfect skin, toned body, and very athletic figure. They saw the outside and had no idea how much you hated the way you looked, even with the compliments, you never believed the compliments were sincere. You never believed them because every time you looked into the mirror, all you believed is how much better you could look. You didn’t see what they saw, all you saw were the flaws, imperfections, and wanting to look perfect. You constantly compared your looks to others and even if you felt confident at first if you entered a room, once you saw others, that confidence flew out the window. It’s a vicious cycle that eventually turns into an obsessive cycle of wanting to be perfect.
This had been my life since I was the age of fourteen. I’m now 30 and have become more comfortable in my skin but sometimes I still compare myself to others, but I’m able to control my obsessive thoughts and translate them into positive body image self-talk. Body dysmorphic disorder is something that I have struggled with my entire life. The need, want, and desire to be better looking, good enough, and being someone that is confident in her own skin. Millions of people struggle with their body image and how they aren’t good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, and try and improve their image. But, it comes with a price. Struggling with body image can result in depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and other health issues that can impact a person’s life.
They look in the mirror and see nothing but imperfections. They are obsessing over every inch of their body and thoughts invade their minds, mostly negative thoughts that can damage their self-esteem and make them feel unworthy.
That is how I felt since a very young age. I would look at myself and hate every single inch of my body. Nothing was ever good enough, no matter how much I tried, I never liked how I looked in the mirror. When other people would compliment and try to lift me up, nothing would work.
I would smile and accept the compliments, but in my head, the thoughts of being ugly, not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough etc. would invade my mind. After that, the anxiety would hit and then eventually depression would take over. Struggling with body image was a nightmare, a literal hell for me and I constantly comparing myself to other girls whether in real life, TV, movies, and magazines.
This is how many people who have body dysmorphic disorder live every single day. Many of them, including myself will develop depression, eating disorders, and anxiety. We become preoccupied with thoughts, avoid certain situations, and obsess over every aspect of their body. It’s not something that can be cured but there are ways to get help and try and cope with BDD. It’s not easy, but there is hope and help.
It’s time to bring more awareness, body positivity, and talk about BDD. It’s a serious mental health disorder, that can develop into more serious issues such as eating disorders and can harm your physical, mental, and emotional well being. I have learned to deal with my imperfections and not obsess over it but having BDD, doesn’t go away. I still have intrusive thoughts but I’m able to deal with them and overcome it. To those dealing with BDD, you’re not alone.
Be sure and follow her on Twitter @AStigmaFreeZone
If you would like to be a guest blogger on SurvivingMyPast – contact me and let’s share your story!