On Being Manic

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This is a website about the daily struggles with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, including dermatillomania (skin picking) and OCD. There will be many resources documented and listed for those who are just beginning the self help journey. There will be blog posting for those who are interested in what it is like to have such an odd brain, and there will be postings of illustrations, for those who don’t really give a shit about words, links, or photographs.

THE (VERY ABRIDGED) BACK STORY:

I grew up seemingly happy and healthy. Just like many others, I came from a broken home where I witnessed my biological father abuse my mother. She left with her two children and spent her days working long hours to support the both of us. She remarried years later and we moved to a small suburb. I was a large child, wearing a size 17 pant at 14 IMGP0820years of age. I was made fun of consistently in school. I had a small group of very tight knit ‘outcast’ friends. I had my own artistic outlets with drawing and I read books all the time.

At around 14 or 15 I began my weight loss journey, I lost a significant amount of weight over the summer and continued to life a ‘normal’, healthy life. At 18 I went through a traumatic incident in my life, and this is where my personal shift happened. I went from being a very extroverted happy person to a very closed off person. I cut out all of my friends in a 2 year period, and I have not reconnected, nor gained and sustained new friendships since.

I began picking my face at 15; however, it was the average pick for teenagers. I really became obsessed with the way I looked around 19, first it was my stomach, then it was my hair, and it has more recently (within the last 3 years) become my skin. While the term ‘recently’ may not sound recent to some people; the obsession with my stomach hasIMGP0821¬†lasted for 8 years and the obsession with my hair lasted around 6 years until I finally shaved it all off.

In high school I had a promising future with illustration or any field of art. However, during the period of my late junior/senior year I shut out all of my goals, dropped out of art scholarships I had, and stopped planning for my future all together.

During the years I have gone to a few primary care doctors who have put me on various medications. I have been too introverted to talk face to face with a therapist, so I have read a lot of scientific studies and self help books. I hope some of the things I write about may help other people in their struggle, and I hope this helps with my own struggles to finally free myself.

Those photos represent how I see myself on a day to day basis. While they are slightly photoshopped for contrast purposes, you can see the scarring that I have done to myself. I have included a photo of myself that is only minimally photoshopped. I hope that you can see the difference between what I, and other people with the same mental patterns as myself, see in the mirror when picking and examining skin, and what a difference there is when there isn’t a mental filter to cloud the cameras view.

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