• Quote of the Day
    "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
    Nelson Mandela, posted by Daniel
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Nov 14, 2004
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I was wondering if there was anyone else out there who has experienced some negative effects to their sexuality because of poor body image. I have had serious difficulty the past couple of years in even initiation personal relationships, let alone maintaining them, for fear that there might be some physical contact involved. Anyone have any suggestions/ resources for how I can remedy this problem?

Thanks!
 

David Baxter

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Hello, Arin...

Yours is not an uncommon problem, actually, but you haven't provided much in the way of details.

What is the nature of your "body image" problem? How long has this been a problem? How or when did it first develop? How old are you now?

You indicate that you "have had serious difficulty the past couple of years in even initiating personal relationships, let alone maintaining them, for fear that there might be some physical contact involved". Does that mean that previously you did have relationships where it wasn't a problem? What were those relationships, especially the most recent one(s), in other respects? Have you experienced any traumatic or disturbing events in the past? Are there any other issues (depression, anxiety, eating disorder, etc.) that might be associated in some way with this problem? Is there any family history that might conceivably be related, even if only tangentially?
 
Joined
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Dr. Baxter:
I'm sorry that I didn't disclose a lot of information at once. I think it's pretty self-explanatory why though.
I'm 22 years old, and I've battled with problems with my weight all of my life. I've gone back and forth between being severely overweight and slightly underweight. I used to be a compulsive over eater, but in high school went to the other end of the spectrum to severely limit my caloric intake and exercised obssessively. I used to be a dancer, so this definitely amplified my self-criticism. Currently I'm at a weight that on the scales is registered as too big for my height, but I feel fairly comfortable with where I am; I'm healthy and am trying to establish a positive relationship with food and exercise.
Both my parents have had conflicted relationships with their bodies too--my dad used to go on crash diets, my mom used to demonstrate anorexic tendencies. My sister has also battled with anorexia and bulimia too. So it definitely runs in the family.
In terms of my past relationships, I guess the phrasing I used was kind of misleading. I've only had one relationship in the past, and it was about 4 years ago. This was the closest I've ever been to anyone, and I wasn't physically involved with him. Basically we kissed every once in a while, but I wasn't even comfortable enough to hold his hand. Even though I really liked this guy, I felt that I couldn't express it to him physically. We broke up because I couldn't communicate this situation to him.
I realize that I should probably go see a psychiatrist to help me overcome some of these difficulties, but I'm about to graduate college and through my research so far I haven't been able to find any resources for this problem that doesn't require insurance. (I live in the US).
I'm really curious to hear any advice you have for me though, as this problem has not only affected my relationships and sense of self-worth, but also has diminished my hopes that the problem will be remedied any time in the near future.
Thanks!
 

Ash

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Aug 17, 2004
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unveiling_arin said:
Currently I'm at a weight that on the scales is registered as too big for my height, but I feel fairly comfortable with where I am; I'm healthy and am trying to establish a positive relationship with food and exercise.

Good for you! That right there says so much!

Both my parents have had conflicted relationships with their bodies too--my dad used to go on crash diets, my mom used to demonstrate anorexic tendencies. My sister has also battled with anorexia and bulimia too. So it definitely runs in the family.

It could be that you learned things that a youngster shouldn't have learned and this could account for your poor self-image. Seeing family members struggle can really influence a child and help put more focus on something than need be.

It sounds like you're feeling pretty good about yourself. That's so great! Yet, you're still uncomfortable with the thought of intimacy?
 

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