Have you ever looked in the mirror and hated the way you looked? Perhaps you couldn’t take your eyes off the fullness in your cheeks, or the cellulite on your legs. Now imagine feeling this anxiety every single time you looked in the mirror. People with body dysmorphia can’t get those feelings out of their head. They think about it constantly and often it interferes with their daily life. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, I can empathize with those struggling with this disorder.
I think it’s natural for us to have insecurities. That’s just being human. We are going to have certain things we don’t like about our bodies and we might find ways to hide those insecurities. For example, one of my biggest insecurities is my back. I used to gain weight a lot on my back and referred to it as my “back boobs.” That’s where I still have a lot of my weight today so there are certain clothes that I refuse to wear. However, it doesn’t necessarily interfere with my life. I might not like the way I look in a certain top, but once I get away from the mirror I am able to go about my day without thinking about it.
I used to think I had body dysmorphia or at least some symptoms of it. It was strongest the first year after I had bariatric surgery when I was losing weight fast. I would look in the mirror and still see a 360 pound woman when I was nowhere near that. It made me really sad and it was like my mind couldn’t keep up with how fast I was dropping weight. It was only in mirrors though. Anytime I would see a photograph I would be shocked at how much smaller I looked. I think that’s what finally made me stop obsessing so much about how I looked in the mirror.
With body dysmorphia, sufferers often isolate themselves or find extreme ways to hide their insecurities. There are times that it gets so severe that people will even have surgery or suffer from other disorders such as anorexia to try and fix the body part they are unhappy with. My heart aches for those suffering from any type of mental health issue. I think it is so important for us to talk about this because our mental health is just as important as our physical health.
For any of you out there that are suffering from body dysmorphia, I encourage you to seek help and talk to someone that you trust. Stay strong and know you are beautiful! <3