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Body dysphoria



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My husband and I still wouldn't have been legally married if it wasn't for the state stepping in and saying I had to have an immediate family member live locally to care for me after surgery. We would have grown old together without a piece of paper to tell us to do so. I imagine we would have been in our 90's before we looked at each other and be like, "well, the kids have grandkids of their own now, suppose we should get married for insurance purposes since we're fixing to die soon?"

I don't regret marrying my husband, I do regret not having any pictures that day, however that moment will always take place in my heart.

February 4, 2016 2pm: Married,

February 5, 2016 9am: WLS Day- 231lbs.

As February approaches this year, I look back into time. 6 years it's been and I still struggle every day with my size. I can't see it, I still buy clothes too big for myself and I was court ordered a couple years ago to update my driver's license due to my drastic transformation resulting in a steady 109lbs.

Skin surgery is recommended for me due to repeat infections and I am not sure is my mind will ever catch up to my actual bmi.

Sent from my moto g play (2021) using BariatricPal mobile app

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So, I looked up body dysmorphia (body disphoria usually deals with gender identity issues) and learned that it's not terribly uncommon. I do hope you'll consider therapy/counseling to deal with this. You'll feel so much better and learn to accept your body as it is now.

The causes are unknown, but abnormalities in brain structure, genetics and environmental factors play a role. Symptoms include a frequent examination of appearance in the mirror, comparing their appearance to other people, avoiding social events and photos. Treatment includes medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Symptoms

The symptoms include:
  • Frequent examination of appearance in the mirror
  • Constantly comparing their appearance with other people
  • Seeking dermatological treatment or cosmetic surgery
  • Avoiding social events and photos
  • Seeking verbal reassurance
  • Excessive grooming
  • Restricted eating
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Compulsive behavior

Treatments

Treatment includes medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Medication
  • Antidepressants: Such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) of help with symptoms of depression.
    Fluoxetine
Self care
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs: as they may worsen symptoms
  • Be active: Perform exercises and engage in physical activity
Therapies: Cognitive behavior therapy

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it's pretty common. Usually not as extreme as the article GradyCat posted, but yes - I think a lot of us have unrealistic perceptions of our size. I'm almost seven years out. I had about a 20 lb regain in year 3 (which unfortunately is very common), and I'm constantly thinking I look "fat". I'm always shocked when I see a photo of myself and realize I'm not fat - I look just fine. Or I'll see a photo of myself from a couple of years ago in "Facebook memory" and think - wow - I looked great then - and then I'll check my weight spreadsheet (which I've kept since my surgery) and realize I weigh exactly the same now - or maybe 2 or 3 lbs more - than I did in that photo.

if it's causing you anxiety or depression, then yes - I'd agree counseling may be a good idea. But if it's not - then know that you're certainly not alone!!

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I am down to a large from a 3X. If I catch a glance at myself in a mirror, I'm happy with how I look, but when I go to put on size large clothes, I'm sure they won't fit.

It's very common, but I agree that working with a therapist can be helpful.

Also, I read in a book on bariatric surgery that you can look at those around you and try to guess their size, then you'll be surprised when you realize that you're actually smaller than them.

I also would recommend getting clothes that fit. I don't see how much weight I've lost when I put on bigger clothes. When I see my body in clothes that fit, it's more obvious.

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7 hours ago, Femme.Fatale said:

My husband and I still wouldn't have been legally married if it wasn't for the state stepping in and saying I had to have an immediate family member live locally to care for me after surgery. We would have grown old together without a piece of paper to tell us to do so. I imagine we would have been in our 90's before we looked at each other and be like, "well, the kids have grandkids of their own now, suppose we should get married for insurance purposes since we're fixing to die soon?"

I don't regret marrying my husband, I do regret not having any pictures that day, however that moment will always take place in my heart.

February 4, 2016 2pm: Married,

February 5, 2016 9am: WLS Day- 231lbs.

As February approaches this year, I look back into time. 6 years it's been and I still struggle every day with my size. I can't see it, I still buy clothes too big for myself and I was court ordered a couple years ago to update my driver's license due to my drastic transformation resulting in a steady 109lbs.

Skin surgery is recommended for me due to repeat infections and I am not sure is my mind will ever catch up to my actual bmi.

Sent from my moto g play (2021) using BariatricPal mobile app

You know what, I totally get it, your mind is yet to catch up with your body and weight loss. You are obviously looking very different if the courts asked you to get a new driving license.

Take your time and trust the process, how about looking at some pictures of yourself from before and after and noting the changes mentally. You can keep this pics totally private.

The best of luck x

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I agree this is pretty common. I actually think I had it before surgery --- I didn't realize I was as big as I was. Looking back on pictures now (there aren't a lot of them) I'm surprised how big I was.

Having lost over 170 lbs, I still feel like the biggest person in the room a lot. I know I am not in my head --- at 5'10 and wearing small tops and size 10 pants I'm probably thinner than most, but I just don't see it. I'm not sure if eventually my brain will catch up or I'll have this issue ongoing...

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You are not alone. Many of us experience some form of body dysmorphia. Some eventually move through it & come to terms with the reality of how they look now. For others it a greater struggle & therapy is needed.

It’s probably only been the last 6 months or so that I see who I really am physically now. There were many times where I did not recognise myself in a mirror. (I’ve even looked around to see who the woman in the mirror was.) Felt conspicuous in groups. Questioned whether I’d fit in a seat, elevator, etc. or take up too much room. My head has finally caught up. Photos help as does actually wearing clothes that fits - hard to argue with the size on the tag in a shop that doesn’t cater for plus size. Take measurements to see how big your waist or thigh, etc. actually is now. I even checked out the height & weight stats of actresses so I could better picture how I looked now. (I know it’s weird but it did help.)

All the best.

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I'm only 5 months out so everything is still pretty fresh... losing 100 pounds in that short of period of time has messed with my mind a lot so I get it. I put my pants on every morning and brace myself for them to be too tight when in reality this size is already getting a little loose on me (down from a 26 to 18, soon to be 16 I imagine within a month or so). When you've been obese your entire life (as most of us have) it takes some getting used to in order for our reflection to match what we see in our mind. In my mind I still picture my large arms, big tummy, double chin, and large thighs. So it's weird to look at myself and appear relatively slender.

It looks like you're several years post-op. Have you considered therapy? It may benefit you to do it if not!

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