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Re: Feeling Ugly

Posted by Adam on October 20, 1999, at 18:26:31

In reply to Feeling Ugly, posted by Janice on October 19, 1999, at 22:51:26

I thought when I read the header that this had something to do with BDD, but
I'll comment anyway...

I have heard that feeling ugly is a symptom of depression.

I personally don't buy the argument that "ugly" is purely based on individual
preferences. I think there may very well be some universal factors at work
that are "wired" into us. Thus I don't buy the idea that a self-assessment of
"ugly" is always inaccurate, or a symptom of depression. I imagine the part
depression plays in all of this is to what degree one's lack of perfection
distresses them. There are butt-ugly euthymics who are having a lot more fun
and enjoying life more than many attractive depressives.

Looks do matter. This is a provable concept. But they don't matter to the point
that one ought to hate themselves for being less than beautiful, or to shrink
from life.

My own issues with body image transcended mere depression-induced hypersensitivity
and were manifested as a full-blown anxiety disorder. I was never able to
convince myself, though, as my therapists tried to do, that what I saw in the
mirror was not what others saw. I think, rather, that my aversion to a particular
imperfection was too severe, took up too much time and energy, and caused too
much impairment. One can learn to live with certain "malformations", and be
perfectly happy despite them. I don't think the nature of the disease is so much
distorted perception as distorted affect. It is a bit of a letdown I think
to some that the road to recovery is not to someday awaken and find the ugly
duckling has turned into a swan but to realise that we can be just as happy as
most of the other ugly ducklings, which, to our suprise, is rather happy indeed.

My $0.02.

> Hi!
> I have had this symptom (I guess that's what I'll call it) since I was 12 years old. My period began at that age, and, looking back now, it was also at this time many of my emotional troubles began.
> I have just turned 34 and am feeling as good as I have ever felt in my life. I have manic depression (I'm on lithium for the highs and am currently not even suffering from depression); my eating disorder is under control (my body image is fine). My ADHD is as fine as it will ever be. I have trichotillomania (I pull out my eyelashes), but I honestly don't believe this has much to do with feeling ugly, although it does affect my appearance.
> Since I was 12 years old I have always felt ugly. I never look at myself in mirrors (when I'm working I'll check my face a couple times a day - and only because I feel I have to). I can't stand to see a picture of myself. If I see a picture of myself, I feel very sick inside. Looking at pictures of myself always reminds me of all the pain.
> Under no one's standards but my own would I be ugly. I'm slim, have thick healthy hair, symmetrical features, good skin. With my head I know I'm not ugly, but I feel ugly.
> This 'symptom' continues to baffle me. I've always thought it would go away as I worked through my disorders, but it seems to have a separate life of its own. Does anyone else have this symptom or have any ideas about it? Thanks so much, Janice.




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