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This obsession is taking over my life

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This is going to sound really bad. I have this obsession with physical looks that is overtaking my life. It literally dominates my entire life. I look in the mirror all the time. I can hardly function unless I feel beautiful. Well, I mean I go to classes and see friends sometimes, but I won't make eye contact (or any contact, for that matter) with a man unless I feel beautiful. It was a huge step for me last night when I made a new friend in class even though I didn't think I looked good at all.


I caught a really bad flu, and I still refuse to leave the room without makeup...and do really hard workouts (an hour of running) and only eat one meal a day, because I feel big.


I look in the mirror constantly. And its not enough that I look good in one mirror. There are three mirrors in my room and one in the bathroom, and I check myself in each of them before I leave, and then if I have time I check myself in the bathroom mirror before class. When I'm in class, I'm always wondering how I look and can't wait to check the mirror again to confirm that I still look good, or to see if I don't look as good as I thought.


There was a cute guy in my class who sat next to me and when we were supposed to work with partners, he looked at me first, but I felt big because I wore a pink sweater that made my shoulders look big so I just ignored him and he partnered with the girl on the other side of him. Unless I feel like I look amazing, I never think a guy's flirting with me, I just think he's probably being friendly.


I'm constantly doubting myself. Even when I think I look good, I keep having to reassure myself in the mirror. I feel great sometimes when I leave the room (having checked myself in four mirrors), but then once I get into class I'm fixated on the idea that it was all an illusion and I actually look really bad.


I keep staring at pictures of myself wondering if I really look like that or if it was just a good angle, or if I just want to be pretty so bad that my mind believes I am, even when I am not.


Thinking back, I've always been insecure, but since about age 17, I've never had a problem with my looks. I'd had problems with boys, but not until my first horrible relationship did I ever obsess about my looks (he said I wasn't attractive...and then stuck around for another year and a half, so who knows). Ever sicne then I've been completely and utterly obsessed with the way I look. He took back what he said later.


This is what is holding me back. I won't even flirt with guys anymore. Its a big deal for me to smile. I always had boys like me in high school, when I was less attractive. But I can't bring myself to have confidence or stop this obsessive behavior. I know that I have a lot more to bring to the table than the way I look. Otherwise, I'm happy with myself and with my life. But this obsession is literally overtaking my life. It's all I can think about.


Anyone have any advice on how to get through this? Thanks.

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It might sound stupid, but I always notice how much better I feel about myself in a mirrorless life, like when I am on campingsites on holidays or spend days just at the beach or in the mountains.


My hair goes crazy, I get tanned, but when I finally meet with the mirror again I always think I am beautiful. Because my eyes beam carelessness and happiness.


I was anorexic in the past and I'd go crazy in a house full of mirrors or if I'd have a scale. I have just one mirror for doing the contacts/hair, no scale, and it just took my mind of the external focus I used to have. It might help you, just as going on an exciting trip in nature might help.


I know... I had a relationship just like you describe. My ego was minimalized after that... however, you are the one to rebuild it, no one else can do that for you. You will see, once you start beaming with confidence like you should, you will attract the right guy


If you find yourself craving for the mirror, do something else. Something that makes you feel good. Like eating an apple. I think obsessions and addictions are both kind of negative forms of behaviour. I am in the process of quitting smoking, and everytime I feel that silly craving, I drink water or eat fruit. Now I am addicted to water but that doesn't matter.


Good luck,



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Hmmmm...your life sounds completely exhausting. So if say (hypothetically) you got disfigured in some way (god forbid)..what would you do? Never go out in society? Not have mirrors in your house?


This obviously stems from low self esteem...and I KNOW it's cliche' but beauty truly DOES come from within. There is NOTHING less attrective than someone who ONLY talks or thinks about their looks. It gets OLD fast!! It is a complete turn off to men too.....chances are they think you are gorgeous, but your uptight attitude repulses them. I am by no means a beauty queen, and I am finally comfortable in my own skin....I USED to be very self conscience, but you know what? MOST epople are too concerned with what you think of them to be magnifying YOUR faults. Everyone is self conscience to some degree...especially if they are attracted to you.


Work on yourself from the inside out...because THAT is where true beauty begins. Cultivate yourself...get into a hobby you love. Learn to play an instrument...learn to be funny, just relax and be yourself..THAT is the most attractive thing of all.

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It sounds like you might need help getting your life under control.

As a guy, all that fussing with hair and makeup can be a turn-off if it goes too far. A friend's wife was so hung up on make-up nobody could enter the house unless her face was just so. One day she opened the door in bra and panties, but a heavy load of makeup. Very odd.


When I'm backpacking my hair goes wild, I get stinky and sunburned but feel on top of the world. When I get home and look in the mirror I cringe.

Why are attractive people so concerned about their appearance and people like me only look in the mirror to shave or look for eye boogers? If I spend time fussing to look better, I'm still an eyesore. Maybe I'm lucky.

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I know its bad that I'm fixated on my appearance. I hate being this fixated on it. Thank you for your advice. It actually reminded me that I don't care about what I look like when I'm painting (meaning, I'm happy).


And, Dako, btw, I saw your picture when you posted and you look fine. Nothing wrong with how you look.

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Well, If I were reincarnated as a pretty young lady, I'd know that guys aren't worried about clothes hair and makeup as the fashion industry implies.


There's a romantic Keb Mo song I like entitled,"You Don't Have to Shave Your Legs for Me."

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Hahaha Dako, that's exactly what I mean... I like myself BEST with the backpackers look I had when I lived in Italy or camped in Hungary or even with the moist of the Philippines. I was alive and kicking and far better looking than with my pale office-face


Keep in mind that looking in the mirror makes you look worse in your own eyes. It's a cliche, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You need a different perspective on yourself, not a different look.


About the eating, skipping meals will just slow your system down. Just eat healthy and sport because you ENJOY the exercise... I know, all too well as an exanorexic... I just want to warn you! It's not worth all the starvation to exhaust your body like that!


You know? I often find the people the most attractive that seem to not care at all. When I think of my friends, the most attractive ones are the ones who have a lot of 'life' in what they project, they use very little make up and they don't smell like a bottle of perfume. They are natural and happy, which is the best I think.


Do you have a small mirror in your bag/purse? Throw it away. Now. Just begin by NOT carrying a mirror.



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I think you need to get into therapy honestly, with someone trained in body image disorders and eating disorders.


Honestly, what you are doing now is doing more harm then good. The skipping meals, not giving yourself rest, obsessing about your appearance are only leading to a vicious cycle where you are not only exhausting yourself physically and mentally, but creating an addiction of sorts to these habits.


I have a history of eating disorders - of anorexia, of exanorexia, or disordered eating, of eating disorders they don't official names for, so I know in part what you are going through with your image, but you need to learn some tools to break these cycles.


Exercise because you love to do it (it took me a long time to get to that point, but now I do it as I enjoy it, which has actually IMPROVED my fitness since I am better at recovery, training properly, not just to burn calories).


Eat healthy because it's important to FUEL your body, too little energy causes you to retain weight. Eat healthy because it makes you FEEL bettter.


Stop carrying mirrors around. It's a small step, but one nonetheless.


It took me a long time to get to where I am today, but now aside from the odd "I feel kinda "blah" day", I feel great. I am in wonderful shape, because while I exercise a lot, I fuel up as much! I realized there is more to me too then how I look...I am smart, motivated, have a great heart, am talented, and I am much more at peace. While I still worry and am anxious sometimes, I am much happier being me. I can honestly go days without wearing makeup, and KNOW I still look beautiful. I NEVER do more to my hair then wash/condition and cut it every few months (and brush it obviously!)..I just keep it healthy. When I wear makeup, it's very little. I feel beautiful on the inside, and KNOW that reflects to the outside.


I am active, because I LOVE doing it. Like was mentioned before, it's the outdoors that does it for me. I love camping, hiking, running, mountain biking, flexing my athleticism in the outdoors as much as I can. It's invigorating...no mirrors around, but you feel more alive in so many ways. I eat healthy because it makes me FEEL better.


I am radiant. I can be sick with a cold, red nose and all, or have just woken up and look like something from Return of the Zombies XVIII in my opinion, and my partner will look at me and tell me I am gorgeous. Because I am...but not because I am all "done up".


Honey, you need to work on the inside. Right now part of your obsession comes from trying to fill that empty space, you are lacking the confidence in yourself to know you are beautiful. You are masking yourself to prevent someone seeing it, but in doing so, you are not taking time to develop that inside. Beauty alone does not bring love into our lives.


FInd your joy, find your passion. Work on the inside, and the outside will radiate...makeup or not.

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I'm going to agree with RayKay on this and suggest you find a therapist to talk to. Your behaviors could be considered a form of OCD as well. I'm not a professional though so I really think you should see one. Therapy was one of the best things I've ever done in my whole life when I was going through a rough time.

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I guess I just feel judged a lot. I feel like unless I look good, no one will give me the time of day. I feel like I have a lot to offer on the inside, but no one will want to see it unless they like how I look on the outside. Like if I flirt with a guy, unless I feel especially pretty, I always think he'll think I'm stupid and wonder how I could think he would want me.


Then I'll go back to my room and see that I actually look alright and feel better.


I think the hardest part is not that I have to look perfect, but the fact that I'm always wondering if liking the way I look is all in my mind. Like maybe everyone else sees something different than I do. I think sometimes it has to do with the fact that I always thought I looked good around my last guy and when we were arguing, he told me he wasn't attracted to me at all. Albeit, he said that after I told him he probably couldn't get it up for girls, which was a horrible thing to say.

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You have to stop letting other people have all the power over you. You are actually vaildating your worth as a human being on how you appear to others. The truth is that while it's nice to have the approval of others, you should stop looking outward for what is seriously lacking within.


Other people have the ability to make you feel good about yourself for a little while. However, that sort of validation is fleeting because you are surrounded by people that can take that validation away with a single unkind word or cruel glance. You will never be happy if you continue to look towards others to make you feel good about yourself.


You have to start figuring out all those things you like about yourself and work on loving you for who you are inside. Then other people's opinions of you won't make or break you anymore. A therepist can help you work through this.

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Atleast you are aware that it consumes your energy. I believe that is all it is, is redirecting where you decide to put your thoughts---easier said then done. All i have to offer is the things that make me feel good about myself, and those are things that find my inner beauty...like writing or yoga, or something that i know i am good @ or can learn. I dont' wear meakup, and alot of men,good looking ones like me for it...i'm not thin either..but i learned how to accept myself out of much trial and error. Its true..confidence is beauty and you have to love yourself before you can be loved. I also believe that all men...want sex...but they respect u more if you respect who you appear to yourself, not who you appear to others.

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I actually suffer from a similar problem (yeah it happens to guys too). It's called body dismorphic disorder. We can be very critical of ourselves, and our minds can play tricks on us, exaggerating small imperfections and making them seem like noticeable defects. At times I look in the mirror and am satisfied with what I see, but a lot of the time I'll step into the bathroom glance at the mirror and immediately become depressed. Lately, I've been concsiouly avoiding looking in the mirror, and it really does help a lot.


I've also noticed since looking in the mirror less that when I do look in the mirror, I'm not nearly so judgmental.


The more you look in the mirror, the more your mind exaggerates all those tiny imperfections that EVERYONE has. You have a pimple on your cheek? When you look in the mirror it sticks out to you, but no one else even notices. You just have to get out of the habbit.


Having said all that, I definitely agree with all the other replys.

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