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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » extreme self consciousness

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Author Topic: extreme self consciousness
Member # 10905

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Firstly, sorry if this is should be in the relationship forum, i wasn't sure which one but I chose this one because i thought it would be more relevant here.

My girlfriend is going through a really hard time in her life at the moment, and Im trying to do my best to help her. The problem is she is about the most self conscious person I have ever met.

Most of the time the problem comes back to the fact shes overweight. Shes been trying to lose the weight for a while but nothings really worked. She doesnt like beeing seen in public because of it, and avoids going to university a lot of the time as well, which has got her into a position where she's barely passing, which is another problem in itself.

But it works back down to her being too self conscious and not liking to go out where everyone can see her and judge her.
She also doesnt want to go to a gym or excercise where people can see her, because she doesnt want to be judged and seen being the overweight girl trying to lose weight. It's a circular problem in itself, shes to self conscious too excercise to lose weight, so she wont do it till she loses some weight first.. and so on :S

Also is there any things i can do to help her get motivated to get to university and to study, i try to get her to go cause i can see that if she doesnt she could end up failing, which will hurt her self esteem even more. she just seems so depressed about all of this and i dont know how to motivate her to break the cycle.

ive suggested going to a counciler and talking about it but shes too scared to do that either, so im really stuck as to how to help her. It hurts me to see her sad like this, and i can see she needs help to get out of the circle, because shes ending up hating herself for being like this :s

Posts: 22 | From: Wellington, New Zealand | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 29343

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i think you just have to be supportive about it. and not just like "you can do it" like volunteer to go out for a walk instead of watching tv or something. you have to work your way up, you cant start by taking 5 mile long runs. find a park or something and just walk and talk around it. it also helps to do it a night so no one can see you or even know who you are, just find somewhere safe and get a flashlight and walk. it would also help to identify why weight loss in the past hasnt worked.

with constant reassurance that you love her no matter what and teamwork, things will get better. and a walk can turn into a bike ride or swimming at a lake or pool.

how do you do it and make it seem effortless?

Posts: 12 | From: USA | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 22756

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I know I wrote you about a month back. I wish for your sake and hers that there would have been some improvement. It's a rough hand for both of you.

She hasn't been to counseling yet - that's not good. Have you offered to go with her? Could a counselor meet you guys on your own turf so that your gf might feel more comfortable?

Do you have any idea what might have triggered her to act like this? Was she traumatized somehow? From what you've written, her weight/depression/sexual issues started pretty abruptly. That's a red flag for some kind of other major problem.

If she doesn't want to get help for her depression, then you're probably going to have to make some hard decisions on your own. I'm not saying you have to let her go. But I think you need to take stock of what effect this relationship is having on you. You've been dealing with this for almost three months now. You're what, 17? That's a hell of a burden for a guy your age. Are you willing to keep dealing with this for a long time? Are you positive that your being around is helping her even a bit?
You've done a lot of reassuring up to this point. Do you feel like any of it is working?

Again, I'm not saying that you have to let her go. Just realize that if she can't help herself, then your ability to help her is limited.

You may want to take some time off from the relationship and let her figure things out on her own for a while. I have a close friend who did this for almost 10 years with his girlfriend. They were on again off again because of her depression. When things got really rough, they took a break and waited until things got better. With counselling and meds, she's doing well, and they've been together steadily for about 4 years. You may want to look into this kind of route if not for you own sake.

Posts: 455 | From: New York, NY | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 10905

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things are a bit better, especially as far as the relationship issues. Weve seemed to, atleast on the whole, get over the problems and doubts we were having before. Theyre not a particularly abrupt developments either. As long as ive known her shes had times of depression, and it never fully goes away.

I am going to stick with her, I believe If i work with her on this we can get past it, and I can make her happier, like I have seen her before. I think i need to talk her into seeing a counselor, I know they can help and i think she coudl really benefit from talking to someone who can mentally help her think better. At the same time I think we need to find a way to get motivated and stick to a plan that helps her improve her self image though. Im not sure how but I think if we can break the cycle then it will get better.. its just a matter of doing that and getting into the habit of eating well and excersising... thats hard

Posts: 22 | From: Wellington, New Zealand | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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