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yeah, stating it out loud for the first time in a semi-public arena -- I've got it, what this site describes. it's been haunting me since adolescence. i've been extremely self conscious about my looks because of it, about the skin on my face. it makes me feel superficial, shallow, pathetic; like i am wrecking my own hope for happiness, clarity, peace, normality, success, acceptance. Paranoia follows. Avoidance of people. My lack of self-confidence is alarming. I had appointments with a psychiatric professional --- 3 app'ts and I somehow managed to miss 2 (wrong hospital, wrong day/time) and then I cancelled the 3rd. There's a fear in having a "professional" dismiss it as non-existent or make me feel guilty for having it. Stigma. There's a fear in having to take medication which makes me worse. There's a fear in sharing it with another person. So I share it with you all now. And I am pledging, now that I have shared it, I am pledging out loud, in print, to stop it. To go towards joy. Clarity. Self-love. That's where it's got to start. Thanks for your words on this forum. I feel less alone and now more accountable to follow-thru on this very important life-nurturing goal. Less love for oneself means less love for those around you. Who would want to take that away from them? From oneself? Not me. My skin is a sacred ground that exudes love, that breathes in love. It is not a barrier from me and the real world, it is the healthy ground from which I may give and receive love. My hands will not harm this sacred landscape. I promise my hands are there for me to be productive in meeting new people, in feeling my pet's fur, in running over the bark of a tree, the needles of a pine, in typing out words that pour out goodness and light. My hands are meant for so much more. Luv 2 all.