Medical Questions > Mental Health > Depression Forum

Depression about feeling ugly & low self-esteem.

Hi, I'm 22 years old and I've been suffering from serious depression for about 14 years. I know I have so much to be thankful for, but still I fight with depression daily relating to the way I view myself. I'm a 3rd year law student, I'm 6 ft 3 and in good shape, but I constantly feel that I'm ugly and I have serious paranoia about what I believe people think & say of me. To give you the best idea of my situation, I think it's best to start at the beginning.

My first bout with depression started when I was about 9 years old after my parents got divorced. At first I was okay with it, but about a year after they got divorced, I started to have serious depression after each holiday and switching between my mom & dad, too the extent that I flirted with suicide etc. (thoughts which have entered my mind again as of late). This lasted for years & the effect was that every time I had to visit my dad I would suffer serious depression when I got back...I withdrew from everything, friends, family, eating! I basically became invisible until I started to feel better, which could take up to a month. So this cycle continued until I was about 14, but then I never went to visit my dad again & we've had a superficial relationship since then, neither one really involved in the others' life. This habit of “severing anxiety or depression” as you could call it eventually transferred to other relationships, but I finally put that behind me about 2 years ago. So I don’t experience that any longer, but since that whole messed up childhood I’ve been swamped with depression. I also gained a lot of weight because of it & one day I realized that I had serious low self-esteem.
So I was overweight until recently and being the fat kid at school didn’t help me either, since I felt worthless...always comparing myself too my other friends at school. I started to become shy & withdrew from girls as well and during high school I was convinced that I was the ugliest guy in my class and acquired mass paranoia! Needless to say high school was HELL for me and each day was a battle & looking back now, my self-esteem now is probably 5 times better than it was back then, so I don’t even know how I’m still alive today and didn’t kill myself along the way, as it crossed my mind a thousand times a day! I off course had no girlfriend, as I didn’t even talk to girls, let a lone date them. This I thought would all change once I started a new chapter at University, but as I’ve found out, to my own can’t run away from your problems, they ALWAYS find you!
I actually tried to re-invent myself at University, but I’ve only really made improvements over the last 2 years. I’ve lost 43kg and I’m in the best shape of my life, weighing 83kg. I’m enjoying sports for the first time in my life and I’ve forced myself to talk to girls, which is no longer a problem for me & I realize that there’s not much too it, BUT I’m becoming impatient. Although I’ve made all these improvements and my studies are going great and I have the best self-esteem of my entire life, I feel my depression is getting worse in a way! When I was young I always fantasized that when I wasn’t fat anymore, everything would fall into place, but it hasn’t. When I was younger I couldn’t even say out-loud that I was attractive, not even in relation to my clothes, I had no complements for myself! Recently I’ve learned to complement myself and I’ve really started too believe that I’m attractive, like people have always told me, but this greatly depends on the day & the situation I’m in.
I feel that just as soon as I’m in front of people I don’t know or sometimes even people I know very well, I fall back into that old mindset and literally rip myself to pieces inside...with thoughts of myself being ugly, not being good enough and what people must be thinking of me racing through my mind! This greatly annoys and saddens me, as I know that I’m my own worst enemy, but I can’t control it, I’ve tried everything...positive thinking, re-affirming thoughts, you name it. It has improved greatly, but it’s not going away & I really just feel that it would be easier to not be alive.
I’m really out of ideas, I constantly have depression & inner conflict about weather I’m ugly or not, good enough or not, if someone could love me or not...I’ve had physical exp with girls at parties etc, but I’ve never had a real relationship with a girl and that bothers me greatly. Even though I know I’m better looking than other guys who have girlfriends, have a great personality & a good sense of humor, I can’t seem to cultivate anything of meaning. I feel utterly alone and hopeless in my struggle with this, my positive attitude that has helped me so far is diminishing & I feel worthless compared to other people, who seem to be able to do all these things without even trying, which makes me feel even worse. I feel more isolated than ever before, that I want to live, but can’t due to everything working against me! I know I should probably just keep on trucking & that everything will get better, as long as I just stay positive and take a few chances, but that in itself isn’t easy for me. I just feel tired off all this nonsense and this relentless “affliction” that I can’t seem to get the best off...

Anyone know what I’m talking about???
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replied December 21st, 2008
First of all, I 100% understand what you are talking about, been doing this for 47 years.

Now if the picture in your Avatar is YOU?? then you sir are a good looking man, so work on the rest of things before really worrying about your looks.

Maybe you just try to hard.
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replied July 30th, 2019
Thank you for asking at Ehealth forum!

I read your question and I understand your concern.
Your feelings are suggestive of severe depression. You should not lose hope and confidence. Do regular exercise and yoga.
Consult psychiatrist to evaluate you and streamline your management.
I hope it helps. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider for further guidance as our answers are just for education and counselling purposes and cannot be an alternative to actual visit to a doctor.
Take care
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