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#21 MoonlitRiver

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 02:51 PM

I'm always scruitinising my skin close up in the mirror and every bit of my skin just looks sooooo bad at that distance! Mirrors and reflective surfaces in general seem to be like a kind of addiction for me I just can't seem to stop myself checking them all the time. Like if I'm out and walking along the street I have to keep checking how bad my face looks in car and shop windows every few paces, I must look so superficial and self-obsessed! Thing is I'm not, I absolutely hate what I see in the mirror, I'm just checking that I still look tolerably human enough to be out in public. Prettiness doesn't come into it at all, I'm just trying to achieve fundamental humanity!

 

I wish I could do as some of you guys do and just not ever look in mirrors at all. Problem is I'd never leave the house if I did that, although to be fair I've been barely doing that at all as it is. Also at the risk of sounding completely crazy here, does anyone else get their face changing in strange ways in the mirror when they look at it for too long? Obviously I'm imagining it but it always really freaks me out so I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this. Ok I'm done with this totally bizarre post now, so apologies to everyone if it actually makes no sense whatsoever!



#22 Bodie81

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 03:56 PM

I'm always scruitinising my skin close up in the mirror and every bit of my skin just looks sooooo bad at that distance! Mirrors and reflective surfaces in general seem to be like a kind of addiction for me I just can't seem to stop myself checking them all the time. Like if I'm out and walking along the street I have to keep checking how bad my face looks in car and shop windows every few paces, I must look so superficial and self-obsessed! Thing is I'm not, I absolutely hate what I see in the mirror, I'm just checking that I still look tolerably human enough to be out in public. Prettiness doesn't come into it at all, I'm just trying to achieve fundamental humanity!

 

I wish I could do as some of you guys do and just not ever look in mirrors at all. Problem is I'd never leave the house if I did that, although to be fair I've been barely doing that at all as it is. Also at the risk of sounding completely crazy here, does anyone else get their face changing in strange ways in the mirror when they look at it for too long? Obviously I'm imagining it but it always really freaks me out so I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this. Ok I'm done with this totally bizarre post now, so apologies to everyone if it actually makes no sense whatsoever!

Moonlit, I`ve done the car and shop window thing too. On more than one occasion, I`ve gone to look at my reflection in a car window only to find that there is someone sat in the car! Talk about embarassing! Worse than that though, in my local Sainsbury`s there is a sunglasses stand and every time I used to shop in there, I would pretend to look at the sunglasses just so that I could look at myself in the mirror at the top of the stand. Can`t believe I`m telling you guys this - you will probably think I`m completely mad.

 

Thinking back, the main reason that I would constantly look in mirrors and reflective surfaces would be to seek reassurance that my blemishes (real or perceved) did not look too bad. The problem was that 95% of the time, every time I looked at my reflection, my flaws would look more hideous and repulsive - I suppose this would be similar to what you experience when you look in the mirror for too long.

 

CBT has really helped with the mirror checking. It was one of the first things I discussed when I started CBT and with the help of my therapist I managed to cut down the times I look in the mirror to three times per day - first thing in the morning when I wash and shave, when I get home from work and last thing at night. At first it was really hard not only to resist the compulsion to look in the mirror but also the anxiety that was provoked by not being able to see if there were any blemishes on my face. However, by strictly adhering to the alloted times that I can look in the mirror, over the course of the past few weeks it has helped me to focus less on and feel less anxious about my appearance.

 

Edit: Just off to have my nightly wash so that I can get my mirror fix!


Edited by GUNNKE, 13 August 2013 - 03:58 PM.


#23 Rosalie324

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 04:13 PM

I'm always scruitinising my skin close up in the mirror and every bit of my skin just looks sooooo bad at that distance! Mirrors and reflective surfaces in general seem to be like a kind of addiction for me I just can't seem to stop myself checking them all the time. Like if I'm out and walking along the street I have to keep checking how bad my face looks in car and shop windows every few paces, I must look so superficial and self-obsessed! Thing is I'm not, I absolutely hate what I see in the mirror, I'm just checking that I still look tolerably human enough to be out in public. Prettiness doesn't come into it at all, I'm just trying to achieve fundamental humanity!

 

I wish I could do as some of you guys do and just not ever look in mirrors at all. Problem is I'd never leave the house if I did that, although to be fair I've been barely doing that at all as it is. Also at the risk of sounding completely crazy here, does anyone else get their face changing in strange ways in the mirror when they look at it for too long? Obviously I'm imagining it but it always really freaks me out so I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this. Ok I'm done with this totally bizarre post now, so apologies to everyone if it actually makes no sense whatsoever!

Moonlit, I`ve done the car and shop window thing too. On more than one occasion, I`ve gone to look at my reflection in a car window only to find that there is someone sat in the car! Talk about embarassing! Worse than that though, in my local Sainsbury`s there is a sunglasses stand and every time I used to shop in there, I would pretend to look at the sunglasses just so that I could look at myself in the mirror at the top of the stand. Can`t believe I`m telling you guys this - you will probably think I`m completely mad.

 

Thinking back, the main reason that I would constantly look in mirrors and reflective surfaces would be to seek reassurance that my blemishes (real or perceved) did not look too bad. The problem was that 95% of the time, every time I looked at my reflection, my flaws would look more hideous and repulsive - I suppose this would be similar to what you experience when you look in the mirror for too long.

 

CBT has really helped with the mirror checking. It was one of the first things I discussed when I started CBT and with the help of my therapist I managed to cut down the times I look in the mirror to three times per day - first thing in the morning when I wash and shave, when I get home from work and last thing at night. At first it was really hard not only to resist the compulsion to look in the mirror but also the anxiety that was provoked by not being able to see if there were any blemishes on my face. However, by strictly adhering to the alloted times that I can look in the mirror, over the course of the past few weeks it has helped me to focus less on and feel less anxious about my appearance.

 

Edit: Just off to have my nightly wash so that I can get my mirror fix!

 

It's interesting how people with the same difficulties can have such total opposite behavior. LIke how I completely avoid mirrors and reflective surfaces at all costs, except for my morning and nightly regimens. I feel every time I look in the mirror, something on my face looks worse or worse than that, something new has appeared. It's gotten to the point where I need my mother to apply my make-up and 9/10 I leave the house wearing a hat to cover my forehead. I swear I would wear a shawl over my face if I didn't run the risk of looking completely mad.

 

Moonlit, I can totally relate to your mirror experiences. If I stare long enough, everything starts to look bigger, or redder, or even I can find imaginary bumps all over my face. It's completely insane. Sometimes when I look too long I start losing touch with what I actually look like. Almost as if it's not me in the mirror. All I can see are the bumps, the scars, and red/dark marks that cover my T-Zone. Ergo, I COMPLETELY avoid mirrors even though not knowing what I look like provokes intense anxiety. 

 

Something that I have recently started doing, right before I fall asleep, is to state the things that I am blessed with. First I'll start with superficial things like "I'm  blessed to have clear cheeks" and "I'm blessed to have no active pimples right now". Then I move into things with more substance like "I'm blessed to have a boyfriend that has loved with clear skin, with broken out skin, and with acne covered skin" and "I'm blessed to have a roof over my head, while there are people sleeping on benches". I find that it temporarily eases the anxiety and helps me go to sleep feeling blessed, even though I may be struggling to no end. Because in the end (even though I may not believe it), I can logically state that I am blessed with more positive than negative. If I can believe that statement for 5 minutes out of the day, then that's enough for now. 



#24 MoonlitRiver

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 05:32 PM

Moonlit, I`ve done the car and shop window thing too. On more than one occasion, I`ve gone to look at my reflection in a car window only to find that there is someone sat in the car! Talk about embarassing! Worse than that though, in my local Sainsbury`s there is a sunglasses stand and every time I used to shop in there, I would pretend to look at the sunglasses just so that I could look at myself in the mirror at the top of the stand. Can`t believe I`m telling you guys this - you will probably think I`m completely mad.

 

Thinking back, the main reason that I would constantly look in mirrors and reflective surfaces would be to seek reassurance that my blemishes (real or perceved) did not look too bad. The problem was that 95% of the time, every time I looked at my reflection, my flaws would look more hideous and repulsive - I suppose this would be similar to what you experience when you look in the mirror for too long.

 

CBT has really helped with the mirror checking. It was one of the first things I discussed when I started CBT and with the help of my therapist I managed to cut down the times I look in the mirror to three times per day - first thing in the morning when I wash and shave, when I get home from work and last thing at night. At first it was really hard not only to resist the compulsion to look in the mirror but also the anxiety that was provoked by not being able to see if there were any blemishes on my face. However, by strictly adhering to the alloted times that I can look in the mirror, over the course of the past few weeks it has helped me to focus less on and feel less anxious about my appearance.

 

Edit: Just off to have my nightly wash so that I can get my mirror fix!

 

Thanks GUNNKE, it's so good to know I'm not the only person who's ever engaged in this ludicrous habit! I always get paranoid that there'll be someone in the car one day but thankfully it hasn't happened yet. If it ever does I think I may just die of embarrassment! I can totally relate to the sunglasses thing. Anything in a shop that's reflective is just another temptation for me. It's pretty pathetic. 

 

It's great that you've now managed to ration your mirror checking. I try so hard to do the same and I can sort of manage to get it down to about 5 times a day when I'm staying at home but if I'm leaving the house I literally cannot stop myself from doing it constantly to check my make-up's covering the acne well enough and that I haven't somehow reverted to looking like a monster again. I'm also obsessive enough that I have to check my skin in at least 3 different mirrors in my house to check how it looks in different lighting before I'll actually go out the front door. It's totally ridiculous, I really need to gain some self-control and willpower!! 

 

It's interesting how people with the same difficulties can have such total opposite behavior. LIke how I completely avoid mirrors and reflective surfaces at all costs, except for my morning and nightly regimens. I feel every time I look in the mirror, something on my face looks worse or worse than that, something new has appeared. It's gotten to the point where I need my mother to apply my make-up and 9/10 I leave the house wearing a hat to cover my forehead. I swear I would wear a shawl over my face if I didn't run the risk of looking completely mad.

 

Moonlit, I can totally relate to your mirror experiences. If I stare long enough, everything starts to look bigger, or redder, or even I can find imaginary bumps all over my face. It's completely insane. Sometimes when I look too long I start losing touch with what I actually look like. Almost as if it's not me in the mirror. All I can see are the bumps, the scars, and red/dark marks that cover my T-Zone. Ergo, I COMPLETELY avoid mirrors even though not knowing what I look like provokes intense anxiety. 

 

Something that I have recently started doing, right before I fall asleep, is to state the things that I am blessed with. First I'll start with superficial things like "I'm  blessed to have clear cheeks" and "I'm blessed to have no active pimples right now". Then I move into things with more substance like "I'm blessed to have a boyfriend that has loved with clear skin, with broken out skin, and with acne covered skin" and "I'm blessed to have a roof over my head, while there are people sleeping on benches". I find that it temporarily eases the anxiety and helps me go to sleep feeling blessed, even though I may be struggling to no end. Because in the end (even though I may not believe it), I can logically state that I am blessed with more positive than negative. If I can believe that statement for 5 minutes out of the day, then that's enough for now. 

 

That is interesting that you've had completely the opposite reaction! Although I must say I would definitely never be able trust my mum (or anyone else for that matter) to do my make-up for me! I totally get the shawl temptation. I had to go to the doctor's with no make-up on a few weeks ago (literally the first time in 8 years that I've stepped foot outside my house bare-faced) and even though my dad drove me to the door of the surgery I still had to wear a scarf to cover my face up from the eyes down... in July no less!! I know I must have looked like a complete weirdo but to me it was the lesser of two evils if the other option was anyone seeing my horrific skin.

 

Counting your blessings before falling asleep sounds like a really good idea but I don't know how well I'd be able to do it. I really struggle with any kind of positive thinking and the hours it takes for me to get to sleep each night are always filled with billions of negative thoughts flying around in my head, some of them so bad that they feel like being physically kicked in the stomach (and yes I am aware that sounds completely insane...). But I will definitely try your technique! As you say, even thinking positive for 5 minutes each day would be significant progress! :)



#25 Bodie81

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 10:36 PM

It does take a lot of willpower and I do relapse from time to time but as a lot of the destructive thoughts and beliefs I have about myself often eminate from what I see when I look in the mirror, it has definitely helped reducing the mirror checking.

 

Totally understand why you would check in the mirror more before going out. I definitely feel the urge to check in the mirror more before going out. In my case, I am looking for reassurance that I look okay to reduce the anxiety that I feel over my spots and blemishes (real and perceived). Very often though, checking in the mirror more doesn`t give you that reassurance - it just reinforces the thought that you look repulsive, hideous and ugly and makes you even more anxious about going out. I`ve lost count of the times that I have stayed in and cancelled or called into work sick because I`ve felt so disgusted by what I see in the mirror.

 

I have a portable shaving mirror that I would move from room to room so that I could check my appearance in different lighting. Very often, I would scrutinise my appearance in my living room which is south facing and has the brightest daylight/sunlight. Naturally, this would show every single blemish or flaw in full, glorious technicolor! I now make sure that I only use this mirror in the bathroom where the lighting (real and artificial) is more forgiving.

 

Mirrors have been my nemesis for many years. It`s an ongoing battle but I think I`m finally winning.:)

Thanks GUNNKE, it's so good to know I'm not the only person who's ever engaged in this ludicrous habit! I always get paranoid that there'll be someone in the car one day but thankfully it hasn't happened yet. If it ever does I think I may just die of embarrassment! I can totally relate to the sunglasses thing. Anything in a shop that's reflective is just another temptation for me. It's pretty pathetic. 

 

It's great that you've now managed to ration your mirror checking. I try so hard to do the same and I can sort of manage to get it down to about 5 times a day when I'm staying at home but if I'm leaving the house I literally cannot stop myself from doing it constantly to check my make-up's covering the acne well enough and that I haven't somehow reverted to looking like a monster again. I'm also obsessive enough that I have to check my skin in at least 3 different mirrors in my house to check how it looks in different lighting before I'll actually go out the front door. It's totally ridiculous, I really need to gain some self-control and willpower!! 



#26 MoonlitRiver

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 04:19 AM

It does take a lot of willpower and I do relapse from time to time but as a lot of the destructive thoughts and beliefs I have about myself often eminate from what I see when I look in the mirror, it has definitely helped reducing the mirror checking.

 

Totally understand why you would check in the mirror more before going out. I definitely feel the urge to check in the mirror more before going out. In my case, I am looking for reassurance that I look okay to reduce the anxiety that I feel over my spots and blemishes (real and perceived). Very often though, checking in the mirror more doesn`t give you that reassurance - it just reinforces the thought that you look repulsive, hideous and ugly and makes you even more anxious about going out. I`ve lost count of the times that I have stayed in and cancelled or called into work sick because I`ve felt so disgusted by what I see in the mirror.

 

I have a portable shaving mirror that I would move from room to room so that I could check my appearance in different lighting. Very often, I would scrutinise my appearance in my living room which is south facing and has the brightest daylight/sunlight. Naturally, this would show every single blemish or flaw in full, glorious technicolor! I now make sure that I only use this mirror in the bathroom where the lighting (real and artificial) is more forgiving. :)

 

I agree, keep checking the mirror, especially in different lighting, does usually make me feel worse. I just end up constantly applying more make-up each time I go to a new mirror and it takes me an absolute age to get it to a stage when I can actually leave the house. It takes anything from 1-2 hours depending how bad my skin is on a particular day. Hence why leaving my house seems like such a chore! And when I'm at uni I just have to get up ridiculously early otherwise I would never have time to fit all my work and lectures into the day. That makes me sound so superficial and self-obsessed but I swear I'm not :( The make-up is literally just me trying to get myself to look vaguely human like everybody else so that I don't stand out in a crowd as the girl with the monstrous face. 

 

Anyway, it's good to know that it is possible to curb this habit! Hopefully one day I will have the willpower to do so myself :)



#27 elliew8

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 05:10 AM

ah i know what everyone means about trying different mirrors because some are more flattering (which i sometimes need if i have a chance of ever leaving the house!) and some that are very harsh which just sends me into massive depression/ anxiety. does anyone else ever feel really vain about looking in the mirror so much? my brother has said to me before that he didn't realise i was insecure about my skin since i constantly wanted to look at it...makes sense really - i explained it's like watching a car crash unfold...you really don't want to look, but you can't really not look either



#28 Rosalie324

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 11:25 AM

ah i know what everyone means about trying different mirrors because some are more flattering (which i sometimes need if i have a chance of ever leaving the house!) and some that are very harsh which just sends me into massive depression/ anxiety. does anyone else ever feel really vain about looking in the mirror so much? my brother has said to me before that he didn't realise i was insecure about my skin since i constantly wanted to look at it...makes sense really - i explained it's like watching a car crash unfold...you really don't want to look, but you can't really not look either

 

My parents used to call me a Parakeet because, before I developed an opposition to mirrors, I would be constantly checking my reflection. What they didn't know is that I mirror checked not because I liked what I saw, but because I was seeking reassurance that I was "suitable for public". If I didn't look then I would be constantly anxious and completely absorbed in negative thinking. It's definitely an OCD behavior that most people, including our families, won't understand. It's completely true... You don't want to look, but you HAVE to. It's definitely an action that isn't in our control.

 

Now, instead of looking in the mirror. I have developed the nasty habit of feeling my face. For me, It's been even more difficult than mirror checking. I will feel these bumps on my face that seem massive and then I look in the mirror (during my designated mirror times) and notice that these "bumps" are virtually invisible. So, I get my reassurance from seeing how I look, but it really doesn't make a difference. As soon as I walk away and start feeling my face, I tell myself I must not be seeing myself clearly. It's a vicious cycle. No matter what, I end up feeling like crap in the end :(



#29 MoonlitRiver

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 11:34 AM

What they didn't know is that I mirror checked not because I liked what I saw, but because I was seeking reassurance that I was "suitable for public". If I didn't look then I would be constantly anxious and completely absorbed in negative thinking. It's definitely an OCD behavior that most people, including our families, won't understand. It's completely true... You don't want to look, but you HAVE to. It's definitely an action that isn't in our control.

 

I agree so much with this "suitable for public" mentality, that is exactly what I'm trying to achieve when I constantly check mirrors. And I agree that it's like a compulsion, like if I see a mirror in any store when I'm out shopping I literally have to check that my face still looks vaguely human in it. My family doesn't understand it either and It's such a bizarre thing that before reading everyone else's comments on this thread I really thought I was the only one in the world who thought and behaved in this way! Nice to know I'm not I guess...



#30 bluepenguiin

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 01:07 PM

I can't even describe the frustration of a pimple coming out when another is gone. It's like a never ending vicious circle. Sometimes I would look at myself in the mirror, and think... hey, it's not too bad. But then the second I see myself in another lightning, I feel disgusted. It's really sad because none of my friends have acne, so I feel extremely lonely. I hope someone will see this and understand what I'm talking about, because even my mother doesn't understand... 



#31 Bodie81

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 02:53 PM

What they didn't know is that I mirror checked not because I liked what I saw, but because I was seeking reassurance that I was "suitable for public". If I didn't look then I would be constantly anxious and completely absorbed in negative thinking. It's definitely an OCD behavior that most people, including our families, won't understand. It's completely true... You don't want to look, but you HAVE to. It's definitely an action that isn't in our control.

 

I agree so much with this "suitable for public" mentality, that is exactly what I'm trying to achieve when I constantly check mirrors. And I agree that it's like a compulsion, like if I see a mirror in any store when I'm out shopping I literally have to check that my face still looks vaguely human in it. My family doesn't understand it either and It's such a bizarre thing that before reading everyone else's comments on this thread I really thought I was the only one in the world who thought and behaved in this way! Nice to know I'm not I guess...

 

Rosalie and Moonlit, I totally relate to the reassurance theory. When I`ve obsessively checked in the mirror, it is not vanity. It has been to try to reassure myself that I`m not the repulsive, ugly, hideous monster that my mind is telling me I am. It`s kind of bizarre how all our thoughts on this are quite similar as to why we mirror check. I always thought I was unique in this - certainly don`t know anyone in my real-life who does this. It`s good to know in a way that I`m not the only one.

This is probably going to make me look totally mad but another "compulsion" that I have worked to cut down on through CBT is the amount of time that I spend studying myself on the webcam on my laptop. It is very similar to using a mirror but instead of using a mirror, I study my appearance on my laptop screen instead. The reasons for doing it are exactly the same as using a mirror - reassurance. Another thing I have done from time to time is take photos of myself to study. It`s not something I`m proud of. Just wondered if anyone else out there has done this at all?



#32 Kalinka

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 03:41 PM

I'm always scruitinising my skin close up in the mirror and every bit of my skin just looks sooooo bad at that distance! Mirrors and reflective surfaces in general seem to be like a kind of addiction for me I just can't seem to stop myself checking them all the time. Like if I'm out and walking along the street I have to keep checking how bad my face looks in car and shop windows every few paces, I must look so superficial and self-obsessed! Thing is I'm not, I absolutely hate what I see in the mirror, I'm just checking that I still look tolerably human enough to be out in public. Prettiness doesn't come into it at all, I'm just trying to achieve fundamental humanity!

 

I wish I could do as some of you guys do and just not ever look in mirrors at all. Problem is I'd never leave the house if I did that, although to be fair I've been barely doing that at all as it is. Also at the risk of sounding completely crazy here, does anyone else get their face changing in strange ways in the mirror when they look at it for too long? Obviously I'm imagining it but it always really freaks me out so I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this. Ok I'm done with this totally bizarre post now, so apologies to everyone if it actually makes no sense whatsoever!

 

OMG! I totally "see it changing" as well! If I spend too much time looking at it, it seems to look worse and worse to me. If I go out, usually thoughts like "How terrible does my skin look now?" "Have they noticed?" "Does this light make me look ugly?" cross my mind. Although, when I get home and look in the mirror a lot of the time I find myself thinking.. "Hey, I don't actually look too bad." Constantly staring at your face would of course make you maximize all your flaws. Unfortunately I can't stop. The logical/rational part of me sees some improvement... the irrational and emotional side of me breaks down in tears, maximizing every red mark.



#33 Rosalie324

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 08:52 AM

I'm always scruitinising my skin close up in the mirror and every bit of my skin just looks sooooo bad at that distance! Mirrors and reflective surfaces in general seem to be like a kind of addiction for me I just can't seem to stop myself checking them all the time. Like if I'm out and walking along the street I have to keep checking how bad my face looks in car and shop windows every few paces, I must look so superficial and self-obsessed! Thing is I'm not, I absolutely hate what I see in the mirror, I'm just checking that I still look tolerably human enough to be out in public. Prettiness doesn't come into it at all, I'm just trying to achieve fundamental humanity!

 

I wish I could do as some of you guys do and just not ever look in mirrors at all. Problem is I'd never leave the house if I did that, although to be fair I've been barely doing that at all as it is. Also at the risk of sounding completely crazy here, does anyone else get their face changing in strange ways in the mirror when they look at it for too long? Obviously I'm imagining it but it always really freaks me out so I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this. Ok I'm done with this totally bizarre post now, so apologies to everyone if it actually makes no sense whatsoever!

 

OMG! I totally "see it changing" as well! If I spend too much time looking at it, it seems to look worse and worse to me. If I go out, usually thoughts like "How terrible does my skin look now?" "Have they noticed?" "Does this light make me look ugly?" cross my mind. Although, when I get home and look in the mirror a lot of the time I find myself thinking.. "Hey, I don't actually look too bad." Constantly staring at your face would of course make you maximize all your flaws. Unfortunately I can't stop. The logical/rational part of me sees some improvement... the irrational and emotional side of me breaks down in tears, maximizing every red mark.

 

Oh goodness. I wish the world had one light setting, and that was it. I HATE how the lighting in my bathroom makes me look. It's direct light which maximizes every freaking bump, red mark, and scar. Then, I can go downstairs and look in a mirror that's illuminated by natural light, and think it doesn't look as awful. Then, I walk out to my car and catch a glance of myself in a window and all my flaws are maximized again. It's so frustrating. i just want a clear picture of what I actually look like before presenting myself to others. 

 

GUNNKE, I totally relate to you. I used to take pictures of myself all the time and study them like a school textbook. I would stare and look for the flaws that I knew were on my face. I would take pictures from every angle, distance, and lighting. I was hoping to find reassurance from all that, but in the end I just felt worse about myself. Thankfully, I got myself to stop doing that (mostly because I have no more storage on my laptop and phone haha). Nonetheless it's a self-destructive behavior that should've been eradicated either way. 

 

It's crazy how similar we all feel. I seriously thought i was the only one to know the torture and pain of living with this dysmorphic view of myself. 



#34 Bodie81

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 01:10 PM

 

I'm always scruitinising my skin close up in the mirror and every bit of my skin just looks sooooo bad at that distance! Mirrors and reflective surfaces in general seem to be like a kind of addiction for me I just can't seem to stop myself checking them all the time. Like if I'm out and walking along the street I have to keep checking how bad my face looks in car and shop windows every few paces, I must look so superficial and self-obsessed! Thing is I'm not, I absolutely hate what I see in the mirror, I'm just checking that I still look tolerably human enough to be out in public. Prettiness doesn't come into it at all, I'm just trying to achieve fundamental humanity!

 

I wish I could do as some of you guys do and just not ever look in mirrors at all. Problem is I'd never leave the house if I did that, although to be fair I've been barely doing that at all as it is. Also at the risk of sounding completely crazy here, does anyone else get their face changing in strange ways in the mirror when they look at it for too long? Obviously I'm imagining it but it always really freaks me out so I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this. Ok I'm done with this totally bizarre post now, so apologies to everyone if it actually makes no sense whatsoever!

 

OMG! I totally "see it changing" as well! If I spend too much time looking at it, it seems to look worse and worse to me. If I go out, usually thoughts like "How terrible does my skin look now?" "Have they noticed?" "Does this light make me look ugly?" cross my mind. Although, when I get home and look in the mirror a lot of the time I find myself thinking.. "Hey, I don't actually look too bad." Constantly staring at your face would of course make you maximize all your flaws. Unfortunately I can't stop. The logical/rational part of me sees some improvement... the irrational and emotional side of me breaks down in tears, maximizing every red mark.

 

Oh goodness. I wish the world had one light setting, and that was it. I HATE how the lighting in my bathroom makes me look. It's direct light which maximizes every freaking bump, red mark, and scar. Then, I can go downstairs and look in a mirror that's illuminated by natural light, and think it doesn't look as awful. Then, I walk out to my car and catch a glance of myself in a window and all my flaws are maximized again. It's so frustrating. i just want a clear picture of what I actually look like before presenting myself to others. 

 

GUNNKE, I totally relate to you. I used to take pictures of myself all the time and study them like a school textbook. I would stare and look for the flaws that I knew were on my face. I would take pictures from every angle, distance, and lighting. I was hoping to find reassurance from all that, but in the end I just felt worse about myself. Thankfully, I got myself to stop doing that (mostly because I have no more storage on my laptop and phone haha). Nonetheless it's a self-destructive behavior that should've been eradicated either way. 

 

It's crazy how similar we all feel. I seriously thought i was the only one to know the torture and pain of living with this dysmorphic view of myself. 

 

I never kept the photos I took - just used to take them to try to get some sort of reassuarance that I didn`t look disgusting. Inevitably though, I would pick out the flaws and just focus on them which in turn just made me feel even more disgusting and hideous.

 

When I think about the amount of time that I used to spend studying my appearance via the mirror, laptop, photos etc, I do feel quite embarrassed and ashamed of it. It certainly wasn`t done because of vanity! Thankfully, I`ve managed to virtually stop doing all of these things now.

 

I do think that these types or behaviours that we are talking about (be it because of OCD, BDD, acne dysmorphia or whatever) are more common than we think. However, I would imagine that a lot of people are too ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it.



#35 Kalinka

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 01:16 PM

I never kept the photos I took - just used to take them to try to get some sort of reassuarance that I didn`t look disgusting. Inevitably though, I would pick out the flaws and just focus on them which in turn just made me feel even more disgusting and hideous.

 

When I think about the amount of time that I used to spend studying my appearance via the mirror, laptop, photos etc, I do feel quite embarrassed and ashamed of it. It certainly wasn`t done because of vanity! Thankfully, I`ve managed to virtually stop doing all of these things now.

 

I do think that these types or behaviours that we are talking about (be it because of OCD, BDD, acne dysmorphia or whatever) are more common than we think. However, I would imagine that a lot of people are too ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it.

I've stopped taking pictures. I used my ipod's camera and it always seemed to accentuate the redness while making my clear skin look paler than it actually is. So I looked way worse in these pictres that I would in reality to anybody looking at me. I thought maybe they would show "progress" to clear skin. It did show the bumpiness going down, but the main "ugliness" for me now is the redness left behind. 



#36 MoonlitRiver

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 01:32 PM

It is very similar to using a mirror but instead of using a mirror, I study my appearance on my laptop screen instead. The reasons for doing it are exactly the same as using a mirror - reassurance. Another thing I have done from time to time is take photos of myself to study. It`s not something I`m proud of. Just wondered if anyone else out there has done this at all?

 

No, I avoid webcams like the plague! I've also tried the photo thing, especially in the past week, but I seem to look even worse in photos to how I look in the mirror (and that was pretty horrific to begin with) so looking at them doesn't reassure me it just makes me feel a million times worse. Seems like syllacrostics and I have experienced a similar phenomenon. I think for the sake of my mental health I should probably avoid taking photos of myself for the foreseeable future haha! 

 

Oh goodness. I wish the world had one light setting, and that was it. I HATE how the lighting in my bathroom makes me look. It's direct light which maximizes every freaking bump, red mark, and scar. Then, I can go downstairs and look in a mirror that's illuminated by natural light, and think it doesn't look as awful. Then, I walk out to my car and catch a glance of myself in a window and all my flaws are maximized again. It's so frustrating. i just want a clear picture of what I actually look like before presenting myself to others. 

 

I so agree with this. If the world just had one light setting it would make my life a hell of a lot easier and seriously reduce the amount of time I spend doing make-up in the morning. Recently I keep thinking about how much time I waste every day doing make-up and it's actually really sad but I can't not do it because then I would never show my face to anyone. It still seems like an incredible waste though and spending 1-2 hours a day covering my flaws with make-up definitely just serves to make me feel worse and more obsessed about my skin. It really is just a lose-lose situation!! :(



#37 elliew8

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 03:43 AM

ah i know what everyone means about trying different mirrors because some are more flattering (which i sometimes need if i have a chance of ever leaving the house!) and some that are very harsh which just sends me into massive depression/ anxiety. does anyone else ever feel really vain about looking in the mirror so much? my brother has said to me before that he didn't realise i was insecure about my skin since i constantly wanted to look at it...makes sense really - i explained it's like watching a car crash unfold...you really don't want to look, but you can't really not look either

 

My parents used to call me a Parakeet because, before I developed an opposition to mirrors, I would be constantly checking my reflection. What they didn't know is that I mirror checked not because I liked what I saw, but because I was seeking reassurance that I was "suitable for public". If I didn't look then I would be constantly anxious and completely absorbed in negative thinking. It's definitely an OCD behavior that most people, including our families, won't understand. It's completely true... You don't want to look, but you HAVE to. It's definitely an action that isn't in our control.

 

Now, instead of looking in the mirror. I have developed the nasty habit of feeling my face. For me, It's been even more difficult than mirror checking. I will feel these bumps on my face that seem massive and then I look in the mirror (during my designated mirror times) and notice that these "bumps" are virtually invisible. So, I get my reassurance from seeing how I look, but it really doesn't make a difference. As soon as I walk away and start feeling my face, I tell myself I must not be seeing myself clearly. It's a vicious cycle. No matter what, I end up feeling like crap in the end sad.png

I'm so glad I'm not alone on this! I feel so vain looking at myself constantly but I can't help it, I'm not admiring - which I think a lot of people do in mirrors, it's just a form of 'checking' that my skin hasn't suddenly erupted or that my make up hasn't slightly smudged and shown the world the horrors it's attempting to cover! If I can't check in the mirror I get really anxious about it as well, which I know is not normal behaviour.

 

Also, I know what you mean about skimming your fingers over your skin to check for any developments, I used to do this all the time! I purposely don't touch my face anymore because I'm a massive picker and I wouldn't be able to resist :( for me checking the mirror is like putting a glass of wine in front of an alcoholic and touching my skin is like putting the glass of wine in an alcoholic's hands! I know it sounds dramatic but that's the only way I can explain it.



#38 Rosalie324

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 07:27 PM

 

ah i know what everyone means about trying different mirrors because some are more flattering (which i sometimes need if i have a chance of ever leaving the house!) and some that are very harsh which just sends me into massive depression/ anxiety. does anyone else ever feel really vain about looking in the mirror so much? my brother has said to me before that he didn't realise i was insecure about my skin since i constantly wanted to look at it...makes sense really - i explained it's like watching a car crash unfold...you really don't want to look, but you can't really not look either

 

My parents used to call me a Parakeet because, before I developed an opposition to mirrors, I would be constantly checking my reflection. What they didn't know is that I mirror checked not because I liked what I saw, but because I was seeking reassurance that I was "suitable for public". If I didn't look then I would be constantly anxious and completely absorbed in negative thinking. It's definitely an OCD behavior that most people, including our families, won't understand. It's completely true... You don't want to look, but you HAVE to. It's definitely an action that isn't in our control.

 

Now, instead of looking in the mirror. I have developed the nasty habit of feeling my face. For me, It's been even more difficult than mirror checking. I will feel these bumps on my face that seem massive and then I look in the mirror (during my designated mirror times) and notice that these "bumps" are virtually invisible. So, I get my reassurance from seeing how I look, but it really doesn't make a difference. As soon as I walk away and start feeling my face, I tell myself I must not be seeing myself clearly. It's a vicious cycle. No matter what, I end up feeling like crap in the end sad.png

I'm so glad I'm not alone on this! I feel so vain looking at myself constantly but I can't help it, I'm not admiring - which I think a lot of people do in mirrors, it's just a form of 'checking' that my skin hasn't suddenly erupted or that my make up hasn't slightly smudged and shown the world the horrors it's attempting to cover! If I can't check in the mirror I get really anxious about it as well, which I know is not normal behaviour.

 

Also, I know what you mean about skimming your fingers over your skin to check for any developments, I used to do this all the time! I purposely don't touch my face anymore because I'm a massive picker and I wouldn't be able to resist sad.png for me checking the mirror is like putting a glass of wine in front of an alcoholic and touching my skin is like putting the glass of wine in an alcoholic's hands! I know it sounds dramatic but that's the only way I can explain it.

 

You are definitely not alone. As you can see there are many people, including myself, that struggle with this every second of the day. I know exactly how you feel about mirror checking compulsively. I don't mirror check, but as I said I feel my face. If i try to resist the urge, I start to become really anxious and then that evolves into major frustration. If I keep resisting the urge to touch, I experience a nasty combination of frustration, panic, and resentfulness. Therefore, I always cave and give into my OCD tendencies and the cycle continues :( As you said, it's not normal behavior. 

 

I've been try to find substitutes for touching my face. I carry about paintbrushes with me everyone and rub my fingers over the bristles to try and distract myself from the urge . I always have to keep my hands busy or I'll just resort to feeling my face for bumps and flaws. It's so unbelievably frustrating and honestly I can't imagine what it looks like to some people. I'm always afraid that one day someone is going to walk up to me and say "What the he*l are you doing?!". I must look ridiculous! 



#39 pretty me

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:22 PM

my face have icepick scars:(




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