A lot of us are unsatisfied with the way we look. We want to be taller, fairer, and thinner. But all this is just idle talk for most people – grumbling about weight loss while devouring a fried snack. But what if some aspect of how you look becomes a constant fixation.
If you meet all my friends and find out what I spoke to all of them in common, you would find that I have asked them all for their opinion on my nose. Is it crooked or straight? Are they sure it is straight?
I don’t know when I started obsessing about my nose. It probably began when I was entering teenage. I remember my father saying when I was a child that if I made any noise at all, he would hit my nose and make it crooked. Needless to say, I was terrified and wouldn’t say a word in front of him.
Initially, I would just check the mirror again and again, to see if the reflection had changed. Then, slowly, I started to ask people as I was no longer sure what I was seeing were real. People agreed with me, and some disagreed as well. It was all very confusing.
One day, at the height of my anxiety about how I look, I decided to hammer my nose back into it’s place. My roommate walked in as I was about to damage my nose and then took me to the emergency section of the hostel. After a while, the college counselor came to see me. She explained that I had body dysmoprhic disorder, a fixation that one’s particular body part was not alright.
Slowly, we worked around issues of my father and how the way he was with me may have affected my upbringing and led me to have this disorder. We channelized some of the aggression I felt towards my father and also slowly changed the absoluteness of my thoughts regarding my looks.
I am still in therapy and treatment is far from over. But I feel much better these days.