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What is wrong with my self esteem? Do I have a disorder?


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So recently my self esteem has been concerning me. I am so self conscious and think I am so ugly that I don’t even want to be alive anymore. Because what’s the point? I’m 22 and never have had a boyfriend, I work at a college town smoke shop, and never get asked out or hit on. I’m incredibly insecure about my eyes. I have thick under eye skin and because of that, I have dark circles because it creates a shadow. I don’t make eye contact with anyone, especially attractive males because I don’t want them noticing my ugly eyes. 
 

I wore a hat for a year straight at work because it covered my big forehead and hid my ugly face, and my dark circles weren’t as apparent. But I’ve stopped wearing the hat because it ruined my hair, and I got bangs to again try and cover my face. 
 

I get told that I’m pretty and beautiful by friends and family and even strangers sometimes, but I never believe them.  But I never get hit on at work and rarely get complimented, even when I dress nice and put effort in. And no one calls me pretty at work. Idk if that’s not normal anymore in this day and age. Maybe it’s because I’m fat. I’m 136 pounds and 5’2 and Hispanic. I take videos and pictures of myself constantly and overly obsess about each picture. I also seek constant validation from strangers via the internet if I’m ugly or not. Most say I’m not ugly but actually beautiful but I’ve had probably a total of 20 people say I’m ugly out of like 180 people. But I focus more on the comments that say I’m ugly because I already think I’m ugly because of the lack of attention from males.

I am going to loose weight. I am going to eat healthier & work on covering my dark circles. I could remove them entirely but it costs too much money. I am constantly thinking about my looks and it makes me so depressed to where I’ll just cry and wish I weren’t alive. I feel like no one truly understands because they’ll just assume I’m fishing for compliments or narcissistic. 
 

I want to be able to live a normal life, but I feel my self esteem is just going to get worse as I get older and I’m not prepared. Any advice or suggestions. And please don’t say: post a picture because it’s obvious I am ugly. People compliment me, but it’s never guys. Some guys have asked for my number and Snapchat, but they always turn out creepy. Females don’t compliment me, even when I look nice. So I am truly convinced I am so ugly. I posted a picture of myself on Reddit and asked if my dark circles make me ugly and most people said even though they are noticeable, you are still good looking. But I can’t possibly believe them because my mind tells me, “oh a picture probably isn’t doing them justice and they probably look even worse in person, that’s why people don’t call you pretty”. 
 

Please help.

 

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Well, I can't tell you if you have a disorder, but it sure seems like you have a fixation. I don't know whether your fixation is on your looks, or if it's on external validation. Either way, it's the fixation that is interfering with your happiness and making you miserable. Do you tend to ruminate or obsess over anything else?

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3 hours ago, Jibralta said:

Well, I can't tell you if you have a disorder, but it sure seems like you have a fixation. I don't know whether your fixation is on your looks, or if it's on external validation. Either way, it's the fixation that is interfering with your happiness and making you miserable. Do you tend to ruminate or obsess over anything else?

I haven’t obsessed over something nearly as bad as I have over my looks. I used to obsess over cleanliness and germs but that was when I was a younger kid, now it doesn’t bother me as bad. I just am constantly thinking “why doesn’t anyone say I’m pretty” and think I need constant validation from strangers. 

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Perhaps starting off by losing weight will be a boost to your self-esteem. Once the weight drops off, try a mini-make-over, like get a new hairstyle, get advice from a qualified beautician about make-up etc. Join a gym, go jogging, hiking etc.  Any form of exercise is better than sitting behind a screen agonizing about your looks and obsessing about getting validation from strangers on the internet - none of which is healthy in any way. 

That said, I also think it would be a good idea to look into professional therapy. I do think you would benefit from it.

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Have you seen a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health?

First of all, you want to rule out physical causes. Then you want to address the anxiety, depression and body dysmorphic disorder.

Do you live at home? How is your relationship with your parents? Do you have health insurance?

Only professionals who evaluate you in person can help you. Your descriptions to strangers is too subjective and tainted with morbidly depressed perceptions.

If you are suicidal call a mental health/suicide hotline. Someone will listen to you and help you find free and affordable mental health care.

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5 hours ago, Confusedblubber said:

I haven’t obsessed over something nearly as bad as I have over my looks. I used to obsess over cleanliness and germs but that was when I was a younger kid, now it doesn’t bother me as bad. I just am constantly thinking “why doesn’t anyone say I’m pretty” and think I need constant validation from strangers. 

It could be that your fixation has transferred from cleanliness to validation. If you have the means, you should seek professional help. If that's not possible right now, you should educate yourself as much as possible on the subject. There are some techniques that you can use to redirect your thoughts. For example:

https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/mental-health/rumination/how-to-stop-ruminating/

Sometimes obsessive thought patterns are caused by external stressors. Are you under a lot of pressure lately? Are you facing any new challenges?

I agree that diet and exercise will help you to feel better. But if you are doing these things to satisfy the perceived expectations of other people, you will never feel validated. You should explore the concept of external validation as well. Educate yourself.

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How does it make you feel on the occasions someone does say that you're attractive? Do you accept that or presume that they're just saying it to be kind, or even out of pity? Does a part of you suspect that you are actually attractive, and if so then how do you feel about this? Hopeful? Guilty? Do you feel that you're unattractive in other ways, or just physically?

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