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I look different in every photo and mirror

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I look different in every photo and mirror

Postby randomgirl96 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:27 pm

I'm 17 and have been struggling with BDD for about 2 years. I definitely know I have it as I have all of the symptoms. I avoid looking in mirrors and reflecting surfaces because I just end up getting upset at what I see. I also hate taking pictures with a passion and avoid it at all costs. However, on a recent vacation I forced myself to look in a mirror and I was shocked to see that I actually liked my reflection. I thought I looked great. Too bad it was just a vacation and not a mirror in my home, if I looked in that mirror everyday I would probably be more confident. However in mirrors at home, I look like a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT person. Same goes for mirrors in shops. Also, I forced myself to take some photos of myself with my family's HD video camera outside and I actually liked how I looked in those pictures, a lot (sometimes I didn't like them but most times I did). Yet, my friend took photos of me with her iphone 5 camera today and I literally looked like a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT person. I looked so so so so so so different in these photos than in the ones I had taken with my family camera and liked. I hated what I saw in her pictures so much I started crying. I then showed her the pictures I took that I liked and she said I looked the same in both pictures but I literally didn't. You wouldn't think they were the same person. I looked insanely different in hers. The same also occurred when another friend encouraged me to record videos and photos with her on her iphone camera and I ended up feeling really upset.

I wish I could get more help for this but my mother gets very angry and doesn't want me to get proper CBT therapy. Atm I only do general therapy which doesn't help with my BDD much. My mother is also anti-medication. Does anyone else get this same problem of looking like a completely different person in different photos and mirrors?
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Re: I look different in every photo and mirror

Postby satintaupe » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:10 pm

Yes, I've always had this issue and you are not alone! I feel like I look different in a lot of photos, mirrors, and with different cameras too. I look different on the pics on my iPhone than when I send that pic to my computer and view it on my computer screen. I have read that people with BDD are usually artistic and are more sensitive to aesthetics.
It's so great that you liked a lot of your photos and how you looked in the mirror while on vacation though! Try to remember that and focus on the positive. My mom also did not understand BDD at all and wasn't really supportive of therapy or my diagnosis. Maybe you could encourage your mom to read about BDD so she can better understand it. There is a book called The Broken Mirror written by Dr. Katherine Phillips that I highly recommend. HTH! I have to run, sorry if some of this didn't make sense as I typed it from my phone.
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Re: I look different in every photo and mirror

Postby CR7 » Thu May 01, 2014 3:25 am

Hi there RG pleased to meet you :) ,I'm 39&have been a very long time sufferer of BDD also.It's a shame your mum is against you having therapy7being treated with medication as this can surely help you hun.Yes indeed what you say about mirrors is the same f0or/with me,I struggle like hell with mirrors&any such reflective surface of me as well.

I think with mirrors for e.g it can matter for e.g the lighting at times you may feel a better type of reflection in some types of reflections than others.I usually tend to avoid the mirror&any such reflective surfaces at all costs as it's just too heartbreaking for me to look in one.

I only really do when shaving and try to do it asap :mrgreen: .I think a handy tip with the mirror is maybe try to say to yourse;f am I looking in the mirror because I really have to,to groom myslef or am I doing it for checking-BDD related.

If you feel you're honestly grooming yourself to see how you look for e.g going somewhere out,after a shower etc etc then as long as you don't find yourself doing too constantly&or obsessivle.If you do try not to feel bad as you know it's the BDD pretty much,I hope you can find a lot of help on here also hun :) .
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Re: I look different in every photo and mirror

Postby Duarte2014 » Mon May 05, 2014 4:25 am

Is there a reason why she is against you getting treatment? Cognitive behavior therapy and exposure and response, along with medication is what helped me the most.
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Re: I look different in every photo and mirror

Postby Aavillon » Thu May 15, 2014 7:30 pm

I can relate to this post very much. I don't know how i look like anymore because I seem like I look like a different person in every picture . It is very strange to me because sometimes I love how i look in pictures , i feel like i look great , and all my features are normal , and i actually look very very good , but then there are times where i just hate the way i look , i don't look normal , and i just want to hide under my bed and stay there forever. For mirrors its very different , i can look at a mirrors and actually like what i see, but them some mirrors i just look weird and not even human , and then i start to believe i'm on of the ugliest human beings on this planet ... BDD is very tough ... its very tough indeed ... :cry:
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Re: I look different in every photo and mirror

Postby atticus7 » Thu May 22, 2014 11:27 pm

Hello, I think this is the most discouraging aspects of BDD and a big reason it makes the disorder so hard to shake.

Personally, I've just realized that mirrors don't work for me, (and they probably don't for anyone with BDD). I have had BDD for about 15 years and much of that time was spent looking from mirror to mirror each day trying to decide if I looked 'normal' or not. The problem is, the more you look in the mirror the less effective this becomes. That is, your trying to determine if you look 'normal' so you look in the mirror repeatedly. However, the more you check in the mirror the more abnormal you will look to yourself. SO....you keep looking and looking trying to figure out how you really look, but all that looking just distorts your view even further. Its just a vicious cycle.

I still struggle with mirror checking, but I was able to go one full week recently without looking in a single mirror. It was soooo hard at first. It took every ounce of willpower I had not to check before I went grocery shopping/to the gym/ etc. However, after just a couple days it was noticeably easier, and by the end of that week I felt WAY better about everything. I felt more outgoing with my family and friends and started to feel like I was getting my personality back. The problem was: As i started to feel better I thought I could look back in the mirror again, I felt like it was no big deal. And at first it wasn't; but within a couple of days I was back to checking repeatedly and my obsessions returned and so did my BDD.

I'm actually setting a goal to not look in the mirror for one full month. I have a dry-erase board where I will be checking off each day up to 30. Its gonna be really hard, but I cant live like this anymore
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Re: I look different in every photo and mirror

Postby Bovary » Fri May 23, 2014 8:02 am

I agree checking is a part of the problem,even a 'normal' person would freak out if they had to stare at themselves all the time.

I think it's impossible to stop though,because there are 'mirrors' everywhere.Like,I can't not see myself when I look at my bathroom tap,for example.Since what I see there is messed up,I have to look in the real mirror to reassure myself I don't look like that.You could argue I should fight the urge to reassure myself by looking at some real mirror,but then I'd continue obsessing over how I looked in that tap which is way worse.I for some reason lack the ability to really separate objectively accurate reflections from completely distorted ones in a way that I take seriously what I see in 'funhouse' mirrors,maybe others are not like that.
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Re: I look different in every photo and mirror

Postby firebird77 » Fri May 23, 2014 11:51 pm

This is what i also have with mirrors, pictures and movies. It scares the hell out of me. I look completely different in different lights etc. Sometimes i'm really disgusted by what i see, especially with pictures. My stomach turns around. Other times i'm pleased by what i see, and i get this adrenaline rush, but this doesn't last for long. Lately i've been comparing myself with lots of people. I see more and more people that are better looking than me and i'm filled with jealousy, anxiety and selfhate.
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