What to know about what you don’t know you know. #1: Intuition is very efficient—if you don't overthink it.
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I found this helpful. I get a little frustrated with articles on body image that describe two polls, one being Body Dysmorphic Disorder and the other being that normal, occasional bad hair day sort of thing. My issues are more than that, but not BDD. At least I don't think they are.
I have a slight tendency to fixate on specifics; it was crow's feet for a few years, then my slackening chin, and then my neck now that I'm 60. I think this is a fairly typical response to markers of aging. It's not debilitating.
On the other hand, I've been critical of my appearance for as long as I can remember. This is typically an overall assessment, usually more focused on my face rather than body, although sometimes I pick at everything. Even when I'm pretty down on myself, I know I'm objectively normal looking and that I have a few nice traits. But I sometimes ruminate for hours in a critique of how I look and about how important looks are, exaggerating both to my detriment. I'm not sure this is debilitating, but it does cost me sleep and contact with people, and it can lead to less productivity at work. I don't seem to have developed much past adolescence in this preoccupation.
I had some intensely painful experiences as a kid and even though I almost never hear direct comments about my appearance these days, those experiences left some scars. I sometimes think that feeling unattractive is so painful that I believe on some level that the only way to be safe from that pain is to look great. And I don't, and won't. I know that the other, much more practical solution is to deal with the feelings, but I've never made much progress with that. I think the mirror technique could be helpful, and I think I may talk to a therapist again. I'm not sure I've been as honest as I need to be when talking about this in the past. Being male, it seems wrong to have much concern about how I look. I'm sure no one looks forward to sharing feelings they've spent as lifetime trying to conceal.
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