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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's nice to be able to tell someone about this for once. Hopefully at least some of you can bear with me cause this may be long. I have terrible self consciousness which results in the worst social anxiety imaginable. I've always had it but it's gotten worse and it's completely taken over my life. I'm 22 years old and male. My appearance is 90% of my anxiety. I have to look my best 24/7. It's so bad I will not leave my house unless I look as good as I can. Even when I know I'll be home all day long I still have to look good. I'll need cigarettes and I'll spend 45 minutes messing with my hair and clothes for a 5 minute trip to the gas station.

What drives me most insane is I look very young. I'm 22 but I look like I'm 16, 17 years old. Certain clothing and if I'm able to finally get my hair just right after 30 minutes I feel I look older. I'll go through phases. My hair will look great for a month which makes me feel a lot better than out of nowhere it just starts looking terrible and when I don't like how my hair looks my anxiety will get so bad I get dizzy and feel like I'm gonna pass out. I'm constantly changing clothes and looking in the mirror every 15 minutes. It's not just in public around friends or random people. I'm even same the way when I'm with family or at home with just my mom and me.

The thing is, I'm a highly attractive guy but I never used to be. I was always a nerd in school and was bullied quite often. I dressed bummy and never really did my hair. It wasn't up until 11th grade when one day I changed my hairstyle and clothing and everything changed. Girls actually began to look at me and for the first time I was being told I was hot. I was no longer a nerdy guy and not only changed in terms of appearance but my personality changed and became a completely different person.

Anyways, thats that. But to put it simply this has taken over my life. I cannot leave my house unless I look good and look older. The fact that I look young causes more anxiety than not looking good but it's fairly close. Even if I do look my best when I go out 100% of the time all I can think about is my appearance. I feel like people are staring at me 24/7. I've also never had sex and I've been in numerous situations where I could have but I was worried about how I would be or how I would look so I would make excuses. I even recently quit my job because of my social anxiety. I just want to be able to go out without looking at the mirror. Go out and not care about my appearance. Does anyone have this as bad as I do?
 

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Yes you are self conscious. You seem to show traits relating to OCD rather than anxiety, yet OCD is an anxiety disorder. Cymbalta, Zoloft, Wellbutrin helps aid OCD. The rest s coping skills. When the day you stop caring of what it is what you describe is when this will all go away. I look younger thani am if I shave all my facial hair off. Trust me it pays off later in life.
 

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story of my life, even though i dont see myself as extremely attractive.
The Obsession part is definitely Bdd. Check out this forum, http://bddcentral.com/forums/index.php
People with the exact same problems.
Still i'm a tad confused, you're saying you find yourself very attractive but you still can't go out? Are you saying you look too attractive or are you only attractive if you're hair is right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
story of my life, even though i dont see myself as extremely attractive.
The Obsession part is definitely Bdd. Check out this forum, http://bddcentral.com/forums/index.php
People with the exact same problems.
Still i'm a tad confused, you're saying you find yourself very attractive but you still can't go out? Are you saying you look too attractive or are you only attractive if you're hair is right?
I feel like I'm only attractive if my hair looks good. I recently got a haircut and now it's so short I can't do anything with it so no matter what I do I'm not satisfied with the way I look so I'm completely miserable right now.
 

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I had some of your problem when I was your age but not as severe. If I'd only known that women care more about your self-belief than your external appearance, I would have had a much easier time.
My advice would be to focus more on relaxation, enjoying the moment, being playful in conversations if possible. But the previous posters have already given solid advice anyway.
 

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you sound much like me, i did also on purpose get a buzz cut just to confront myself because i thought i only looked good when i my hair was just right. It resulted in me being uber depressed for a week or so but then i kind of accepted it, still i was pretty anxious. Now i have my hair back and i'm still struggling with it.

Humourless just gave you the best advice that works the best and that i practice everyday, whenever you're freaking out. tell yourself, it doesn't matter, and just do what you want to. If you're about to, i dont know, sleep with a girl as you took for example, then just go for it if you want to. try to think logical, if your hair doesnt look the you want to, would she suddenly jump up and find you repulsive? highly unlikely. And who cares? if you go to the gas station just to buy cigarettes then that's what you do.
 

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I just want to add:
As long as you live off those 30 minutes of feeling goodlooking you will always over-analyze, be awkward, and super self conscious around people. When you stop caring, and let thing just be the way they are then you will start to look at things in a new light, you're mind will control your body and not let your body control your mind. You will instantly look more attractive just because you radiate a confident "im effortlessly cool" kind of aura, im speaking from experience. Also if people only want to be with you when you're hair looks good, then forget those people, there is no point in hanging out with them anyway.

I recommend;
James dean Philosophy

1. Do, Don't show - relax into your own self - F.example, if you smoke a cigarette, don't think about how or when you smoke it, but just smoke it because you want to smoke it.
2. Avoid Matching - Live in the real world rather then constantly translating between your mind and the real world.
3. Reinforcing - Doing nr.2 helps you do nr.1
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I appreciate the responses. I'm gonna try medication and attempt to quit caring but I don't think it will be that easy.
 

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I appreciate the responses. I'm gonna try medication and attempt to quit caring but I don't think it will be that easy.
I can tell you it won't in the beginning, but beauty of it is that the more you do it, the easier it will get and the more fun you will have. And don't feel bad if you relapse into bad thoughts or something, it's always a part of it.

And if you go for medication, just be careful to not get anything addictive or heavily mind altering. It's not natural
 

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I have never met anyone who has these problems, i'm a 19 year old female and i suffer terribly from feeling self conscious. I know i'm attractive and i have never been picked on or bullied, apart from the odd comment now and then. Everyone says that is is either a phase or that i am not alone, but i know it's more than that. I top up my makeup about once an hour and i look in the mirror all the time, i am so paranoid i look bad. It can't leave the house without my makeup, mirror and hairbrush and even if i'm just popping out it takes me a lot longer than it should do to get ready, i feel like i need to look perfect 24/7. That is now my everyday life and friends and family are used to me adjusting my appearance. I also have a bad habit of flicking my hair a certain way as i feel that makes it look better. My biggest problem is getting dressed. I have a lot of lovely clothes and sometimes i am fine and know what to wear. Other times i feel fat, which i know i am not, and it takes me a good hour or more to pick out clothes, resulting in me being late for school. When this happens i get very stressed, i become cry hot and dizzy and i can't breathe and i cry uncontrollably, i think this is me having a panic attack. I know to a lot of people it all sounds ridiculous and overreacting and i wish they could feel how i felt as i know it my head it's stupid but its like i cant stop it. I dont want to have this problem for ever. I want to be happy and carefree and this problem is holding me back from so much in life.
 

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I have never met anyone who has these problems, i'm a 19 year old female and i suffer terribly from feeling self conscious. I know i'm attractive and i have never been picked on or bullied, apart from the odd comment now and then. Everyone says that is is either a phase or that i am not alone, but i know it's more than that. I top up my makeup about once an hour and i look in the mirror all the time, i am so paranoid i look bad. It can't leave the house without my makeup, mirror and hairbrush and even if i'm just popping out it takes me a lot longer than it should do to get ready, i feel like i need to look perfect 24/7. That is now my everyday life and friends and family are used to me adjusting my appearance. I also have a bad habit of flicking my hair a certain way as i feel that makes it look better. My biggest problem is getting dressed. I have a lot of lovely clothes and sometimes i am fine and know what to wear. Other times i feel fat, which i know i am not, and it takes me a good hour or more to pick out clothes, resulting in me being late for school. When this happens i get very stressed, i become cry hot and dizzy and i can't breathe and i cry uncontrollably, i think this is me having a panic attack. I know to a lot of people it all sounds ridiculous and overreacting and i wish they could feel how i felt as i know it my head it's stupid but its like i cant stop it. I dont want to have this problem for ever. I want to be happy and carefree and this problem is holding me back from so much in life.
I know this thread is old but just wanted to say yepp me too...

I think I am making progress by just getting comfortable in what I know I can do... like if I master one hairstyle, and I know I can always style my hair like that if I feel like the world is closing in around me before I go out. Then when I do go out I just have to force myself not to focus on how it is all holding together unless I go to the bathroom and fix myself up or something.

Getting dressed... I am trying to take time to just go through my wardrobe, pick out my cutest clothes that I like the best, put them together and take a pic of the outfit. Then when I am in disaster mode I can just look back on the outfits I decided I liked and choose one.

You could even just try toning everything down. Maybe just force yourself to wear kind of drab, comfy clothes a few times, put your hair up and only wear simple makeup... then go out ONLY focusing on having fun, whether you are alone or w/ friends. Then when you get more comfy just being out and NOT in the spotlight, cause remember, when you go out you are not actually in the spotlight, you can start getting back to expressing yourself and wearing the pieces you really love to show off.

Hugs and gl :)
 

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Trying to look perfect does not necessarily indicate BDD or OCD. At some point I stopped caring, but that's also because I gained weight from my meds so I don't feel as good anymore. Well I was self-conscious from the beginning anyways. I try to look perfect, and then when I don't, it stresses me out. With the hair thing, as a girl, I try to change it from what it looks like (wavy/curly to straight), and a little frizz puts me on edge. Well it did. Then I started feeling more and more unattractive so I don't even straighten my hair anymore. It's usually poofy or in a ponytail.

I was bullied too, and then I changed schools and that's when things starting changing. Guys starting asking me out! Well we were preteens let me add. I think I started getting picky about how I looked once I started comparing myself to others.

But with the self-conscious thing, it prevents me from being very outward when with more than 1-2 other people. I think that there is something on my face, or that my voice will crack up. I stopped caring about the clothes because of the weight gain from my Antidepressants, and I can't afford anything really anyways. 45 minutes is not that long when you are getting ready for the day. Since I have not completely experienced that, I say to research how you can stop obsessing so much about it so it does not deter you from living a fully functional life. Maybe that is BDD? I nitpick at myself but I think that is just my ego wanting to be perfect. Oh well, I guess.
 

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You sound EXACTLY like me dude. I also broke out of my "nerdy" phase after high school. (I'm still pretty dorky deep down but I don't look the part anymore atleast) I also to care WAY too much about my appearance. My whole day will be ruined if my clothes are fitting me perfectly or I'm having a bad hair day. I've even made excuses to get out of sex before. I was a virgin up until my freshman year of college. So I know exactly what you're going through. I actually have OCD and anxiety.

For me, it wouldn't be so hard except there are SO MANY photos of me online during my unfortunate high school years, and it makes it really hard for me to accept myself for who I am now when my embarrassing past is constantly being thrown in my face. I was a theater kid my first year of high school, and EXTREMELY flamboyant. Most people thought I was gay and the fact that I was a virgin who never had a girlfriend didn't help. I've grown up a lot since then, and now I'm actually bisexual (never confirmed it to anyone though), but seeing old photos of myself is a huge blow to my ego because I feel like no matter what I'll always be remembered as that awkward, nerdy gay kid from high school.

We probably try so hard to perfect our appearances because it's all we really have control over at this point in our lives. We can't change our pasts but we can keep working on the people we want to be. It's just hard once we start to obsess over it.

How have you been getting through it?
 
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