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Question
Posted by: Negative | 2011/09/14

Poor Self Image is ruining my life

I''m in my late twenties with 2 kids and what people tell me is a great body. I fit into a size 6 or 8 and weigh 55kgs. My clothes, the scale and the people around me all tells me that I''m in pretty good shape but when I look in the mirror I see something totally different. I''m not sure why this is. I struggle to accept a compliment as true when one is paid to me. Whether its about something I''ve made or something I have done. I am pretty hard on myself in terms of standards. I''m starting to realise how this is ruining my life as far as I''m becoming obsessive about sport and although I will never lean towards anorexia or bulimea, I feel regret everytime I eat something that isn''t calorie free - so I feel bad most of the time. I will need to start work again soon and I''m scared to go back into the working world because I lack the confidence that I will be good enough. I have been off work for 4 years now. What am I supposed to do. I''m scared I drive my husband away with all my negativity.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sounds like its more than simple issues of self-esteem, but a disturbed body image, such as is seen in Eating Disorders, where good research has proved what you say, that people while they have such a disorder, see and experience themselves as far larger and more unatrtractive than they actually, objectively, are. The feelings you describe, and the attitude towards food, such as "I feel regret everytime I eat something that isn''t calorie free - so I feel bad most of the time" are typical of eating disorders. This behaviour is unhealthy and the opposite of what one needs for a fit body. And clearly there are also issues of self-esteem, too.
It would be very wise for you to arrange to see a good local psychologist soon, for a proper assessment, and a discussion of treatment options, which should definitely include psychotherapy, probably of the CBT ( Cognitive-Behavior Therapy ) form, and possibly also some medication to assist.
You can get this right, to become happy in a normal rather than a starved body, confident, and better able to enjoy life

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/09/14

Sounds like its more than simple issues of self-esteem, but a disturbed body image, such as is seen in Eating Disorders, where good research has proved what you say, that people while they have such a disorder, see and experience themselves as far larger and more unatrtractive than they actually, objectively, are. The feelings you describe, and the attitude towards food, such as "I feel regret everytime I eat something that isn''t calorie free - so I feel bad most of the time" are typical of eating disorders. This behaviour is unhealthy and the opposite of what one needs for a fit body. And clearly there are also issues of self-esteem, too.
It would be very wise for you to arrange to see a good local psychologist soon, for a proper assessment, and a discussion of treatment options, which should definitely include psychotherapy, probably of the CBT ( Cognitive-Behavior Therapy ) form, and possibly also some medication to assist.
You can get this right, to become happy in a normal rather than a starved body, confident, and better able to enjoy life

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