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starrykitten

Coping With Poor Self Image

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I can't believe how much the way I look depresses me when I'm already at all low.  Usually I am somewhat insecure but not obsessed with it. But when I'm already down and I take a selfie or look in the mirror, my heart sinks and I just don't like myself at all. That's not how I see myself looking.  

 

Anybody else get this? Does anything make it better?

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I only see sorrow in my eyes when i look at the mirror and i hate it...missed the old self with a big smile in my face and joyfulness in my eyes,other than that i'm physically looking the same but inside of me is not the same.

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I'm not sure if I've experienced exactly that, but I do know of something that's "supposed" to help. I hate doing it, it's so hard for me! But it's looking at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself "I love you" out loud. In all honesty, I haven't been able to do it. I have done it silently and not in the mirror, which I guess is a step forward. :) Anyway, good luck to you. I'm sorry you're experiencing that, it's uncomfortable.

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You could try doing some beauty treatments. it might help a bit but i know when people feel like this it often has little to do with actual appearance.

Sometimes i feel like the most hideous thing on the planet and I'm surprised that people can even look at me when i go out. i feel like they're going to be appalled by me.

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Well, I'm "plain-looking", to be charitable.

 

And I've got a few other physical issues/disabilities going on, most of which I can and am trying to work on.

 

OK.  Let's say, for the sake of argument that we're all ugly.

 

I'll bet together we can name many "ugly" people that have been great successes.  Lyle Lovett, Danny DeVito... heck, Einstein wasn't a prize, but seems to have been a ladies' man.  Look at some of your country's politicians!

 

What else is up with you?  Why do you let physical appearance - your opinion of which is probably distorted due to depression anyway - define you?

 

How's your brain?

 

How's your hygiene?

 

How's your level of fitness?  Can you get around and do the things you want and need to do?

 

How's your personality - friendliness, helpfulness, etc?

 

Do you have interests and/or hobbies?  What are you PASSIONATE about?

 

What about education?

 

There are SO MANY facets to you other than physical appearance.  And a lot of people will look past that, anyway, to see what else you have to offer.

 

It's hard, I know.  I've lived this for decades.  And it took me the longest time to figure out that if I displayed something - anything - that people wanted, they'd accept me.

 

Besides, think about it.  Think about an "average-looking" man or woman.  50% of everybody out there is uglier.

 

Take care!  

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I get this a lot.  A lot a lot.  Like even when I'm not down, even if I'm having an up day, I'll try taking a selfie or I look the wrong way in the mirror and it just deflates me.  A lot of time I think I'm not bad looking, although overweight, but I just see myself at the wrong angle and it all goes to hell.  I have no confidence how I look.  The worst is when I think I look great, then I get to work and look in the mirror there and feel like I look like a troll.  I struggle with my self-image a lot, its a great source of my anxiety and depression.

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ratboy has some great comments here. Honestly, even if you start out in life looking great, aging takes it away anyhow, looks are so fleeting that I think it's a mistake to put so much emphasis on it. But that is how things have become, largely driven by the media, hollywood etc, everyone now is expected to be a supermodel. I'm glad that my generation didn't have "selfies" (I've never taken one, and when I was young, you would have been scorned and considered vain for taking photos of yourself, now it's all so "normal".) But as ratboy says, there is much more to ANYONE than their looks, and inner beauty is something much more valuable IMO. Sure, everyone would like to look hot for their entire lives, but even hollywood stars have to get work done to try to stay attractive as long as possible and have you seen how some of that turns out? that looks almost alien sometimes. your looks are just an outer shell, but it's not who you are.

Edited by bluegal

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This is a huge thing I struggle with. My poor self-image is frequently a trigger for my depression. Unfortunately I don't have a good coping mechanism... my husband knows I struggle with this, so he tells me I'm beautiful and that he loves me and then tried to get me to laugh about something completely different. If it's really bad, I sleep to cope. My brain resets itself if I sleep, so it takes the edge off of the pain of being myself.

For the record, I think you are beautiful. Yes, you who are reading this. Yes, YOU. :)

Edited by LilyRain

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I needed this thread today. Glad I stumbled into it. Been feeling awful about my appearance, can't stand the way I look.

 

I have been fantasizing about plastic surgery since I was eight years old. I keep looking at pictures of celebrities and picking out the new nose that I want. For some reason, for awhile this cheers me up. But as soon as I cross my reflection, I'm sent back into my same insecurities.

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I identify so much with what desperados wrote. I only see sorrow when I look at myself in the mirror. It's been a long time since I don't laugh, since I don't feel good about something, since I don't relax. I can notice the sadness in my appearance, the pale skin, the sad eyes

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I stopped looking in the mirror.  I know I look ugly because I am so physically sick.  I haven't always looked this bad.  I guess acceptance helps me.  I stop wishing I looked different and just accept how ugly I am, and try my best to stop caring what others think.  It helps make me more resistant to real or perceived criticism but the downside is that it only adds to my social isolation.  

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Yes, I definitely get this. I often feel like an embarrassment to my girlfriend when we go out because I think I look so ugly. When people give me compliments regarding anything about my face, I always believe they are lying to try to make me feel better. Look up "body dysmorphic disorder".

What helps me is trying to focus on what things I do like about myself, including non-physical things. Also getting on anti-depressants seems to help control the obsessing over flaws. Now It's rare that I think about flaws for hours, days at a time to the point of feeling suicidal.

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I don't take selfies b/c I haven't fully accepted my appearance yet.  I often don't look in the mirror.  But some days, when getting ready, I can do it & I just think 'well, this is the best I can do'.  I try to be clean, which is a good thing.  Not a beauty queen in anyone's book but I try hard not to get really stuck there b/c I can't really do anything about it. 

 

I think that when my mood is better it is less of a concern.  I don't get better looking (which would be a nice change) but I just don't seem to think about it.

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I had a moment today when I caught my reflection in a glass door and I'm like "hey, I don't look so bad today." And I wore an outfit that made me feel good.... but this feeling never ever lasts.  I'm going to revel in it while I can.  I think a big part of my self image issues is that I don't have clothes that really match how I want to dress, so when I see my reflection I don't feel like myself.  I'm working more on getting things that I think are my "style" (I use that word loosely, I have no style), and it makes me feel good about myself when I like what I'm wearing.

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Sorry - one more thought.  And this may be the hardest one for us on DF to pull off.

 

Know what else is very attractive?

 

CONFIDENCE.

 

Hygiene.  Knowledge.  Knowing that you have something to offer.  A sense of humor.

 

Body language.  Am sure a Google search on body language will have the majority of us going "nope... I don't do any of those things" - those things that tell people that we're worth knowing and interacting with.  How often do we give off "depressed vibes" because our distorted thinking leads us to believe that no good will come out of a meeting or date or something?  And we slouch, avoid eye contact, don't sit forward in our chair to engage someone else?

 

I don't have any magic bullets, and I'm in the same boat.  But I've had a few experiences in my life that tell me that people don't give a **** what you look like if you've got something to offer them.  During the last few years of my work career, I led meetings and gave talks on occasion.  I've joined a couple of clubs/organizations in the last couple of years, and people LOVE it when there's common ground and you can either impart some wisdom to them, OR they can mentor you - people LOVE to talk about themselves and lend their expertise!

 

I'm rambling.  Food for thought.

 

Best wishes!

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