Dysmorphia or Pregnancy?

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Digdawg
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Dysmorphia or Pregnancy?

Unread post by Digdawg »

TW for weight!

I’m roughly 5 feet tall, and 125 pounds. Not the healthiest according to BMI, and knowing that causes issues for me. I have some stomach fat like a lot of people, and from my perspective, it looks large. This typically doesn’t bother me, usually I can tell myself it’s normal fat distribution and move on. But I just had a moment in the shower that panicked me.

I have a fear of pregnancy. I’ve mentioned it in previous board posts. Because of this, small things can set me off into anxiety. I have a diagnosis for GAD and have previously gone to therapy for it, but haven’t in the past ~2 years due to costs.

I look down in shower and think “huh I should probably pick up a little more exercise”. But for whatever reason, I don’t move on. I just keep staring, and think “I look like some people when they’re 2,3,4 months pregnant”. I panicked a got out of the shower.

I haven’t had sex since October 12 due a number of reasons, but every time I have had sex, I use condoms and make him pull out. I also take combination pills regularly alongside normal medications, I haven’t missed a dose within the past six months. I haven’t had pregnancy symptoms, and have had normal bleeding when that time in my pill packet comes. But I just can’t get it out of my head that I look pregnant, that things can otherwise be normal and I’m pregnant. Getting an abortion would be difficult, I have pro-life parents and my state requires parental permission to get an abortion. Am I just experiencing some kind of body dysmorphia, or is there the slimmest possibility that I could be pregnant?
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Re: Dysmorphia or Pregnancy?

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi Digdawg,

Given what you describe, including the fact that you've been getting your withdrawal bleed, I think you can safely say you're not pregnant. However, if you haven't done so already, taking a test may help solidify that for you, since sometimes having the concrete proof in your hand can help lessen the anxiety. Is that something you're able to do?

As an aside, it may also help to know that the BMI is a super, super flawed measure. This article does a great job of explaining why (and where the BMI came from in the first place): https://elemental.medium.com/the-bizarr ... 8dc2aa33bb
Digdawg
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Re: Dysmorphia or Pregnancy?

Unread post by Digdawg »

I do have the means to get a pregnancy test, but I’m hesitant to because what if it is positive, stuff like that. It’s that fear of knowing that gets me, even if knowing can get me help sooner
al
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Re: Dysmorphia or Pregnancy?

Unread post by al »

Hey digdawg,

I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling this way- I can imagine it's hard to focus on what you need to and take care of yourself. I hear what you're saying about hesitating to get a pregnancy test for fear of a positive result; I know that anxiety doesn't always follow logical trains of thought, but you're right: even if you were to get a positive result (which is highly, highly unlikely - you can double check the Pregnancy Panic Companion for reassurance), the sooner you know the sooner you'd be able to make a plan and move forward. If that's your worst case scenario, it'd be a lot better to find that out sooner rather than later.
Keeping yourself stuck in this limbo is likely not going to make you feel better - the anxiety and doubt will probably persist until something changes (i.e, you take a pregnancy test or decide to accept that you're not pregnant and instead focus on the dysmorphia aspect).

I know you said that you haven't been able to be in therapy recently because of costs (I know that life, and it's the worst), but it seems like it was helpful before. What tools or techniques did you and your previous therapist talk about for dealing with anxious and/or persistent thoughts when they came up? Has anything helped in the past?
Nothing happens in contradiction to nature, only in contradiction to what we know of it. -Special Agent Dana Katherine Scully
Digdawg
not a newbie
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:13 pm
Age: 17
Awesomeness Quotient: I love my pets!
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Re: Dysmorphia or Pregnancy?

Unread post by Digdawg »

Something my therapist had me do is run through the science of whatever I was anxious about since I’m already into that sort of stuff. I had a severe needle phobia we were working on together and knowing the science behind how and why vaccines work helped a lot. I was also taught breathing and grounding exercises should I be deep into an episode.

I think just the general know how of how pregnancy works is helpful. Knowing how finicky and fragile cells are (I am a biology major) on top of “sperm might meet egg on a good day” helps A LOT. Knowing how my birth control and barrier methods work to give me a more or less 5 layered bulletproof shield from the most fragile of all living things puts me at ease. Knowledge is power, I guess
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Re: Dysmorphia or Pregnancy?

Unread post by Sofi »

That's a really great method, I can totally see that working! Everything you said is right, too, so definitely focus on those things since that helps you calm those nerves. Like Al said, staying in that limbo isn't helpful, but it sounds like you have the tools to dig yourself out sometimes. I suggest maybe writing this down on a piece of paper (in a summarized version) and sticking it somewhere by your desk, by your bed, or in front of your toilet--as silly as that sounds. This way you can see it every day as a reminder!
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