Can't get over my asymmetric face... making me suicidal.

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Hi, since I was about 14 I've noticed asymmetry in my face, starting with my nose and then as I grew older I realised it's actually my whole body - the right side, the whole right side, looks less developed than the left. For instance, the right side of my nose is slightly larger, with more cartilage, my right ear is thinner, my right ankle is weaker, basically all the bones and muscle on the right side of my body is weaker and less defined than my left side, which is defined well and is very strong. Even my cheekbones are different.

I've managed so far to deal with this, even though it's been with me for ever, it's my body! But now it's starting to grab hold of me again. I start thinking that I am not 'whole', that I am not a human being, that I'm deformed and look like a monster. That my genes are flawed and that people are looking at me from everywhere. I am horribly self-conscious, and I try to avoid looking people in the eye. I sometimes look at them only to see if they can detect my asymmetric features and will suddenly look frightened or scared. I feel that I can never be genuinely loved because of my flawed body, lack of symmetry. It has led me to self-harm and suicidal thoughts enter my head every day. In fact, I constantly wish I was dead, and imagine myself hanging from a tree.

I don't know how long i can live with this anymore. It's like a curse. When I sit down, I slump to the right a bit because my body is weaker on that side. I often cannot breathe in my right nostril, the side of my nose that is wider than the left side. I know there is a problem running through my whole body, as just recently I had a Xray scan of my gums. The left wisdom tooth is coming up in a perfect vertical direction. The right one is still buried below, and angled about 45 degrees into the root of my other tooth. It will never come up. Similarly, oh I could go on. I really hate this, I hate it so much but I just live every day and try to forget about it.

I want to know if you met me in real life, would this bother you? I know some people are more obsessed with appearance than others, and some may notice flaws in appearances more than others. I want to know if it will bother you, if it will cause you to dislike me even if you like my character and personality. Sometimes I feel I am different from my family, my mum and brother, who have no asymmetric deviation to the extent I have. I feel sometimes that they think of me as a monster, that they hate me for my inability to grow properly. Please help me.

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  • Posted

    I have no experience of this.

    I don't know how old you are. None of us are perfectly made and I would have thought that it would be quite natural to be stronger on one side than the other eg if one's right or lefthanded.

    I throw with my lefthand although I write with my righthand. Therefore I must have developed the relevant muscles.

    I used to do drawing. If you draw someone's face they have differences one side to the other. Only children draw a perfect symmetry.

    Have you every been treated for something like this or anyone ever commented on this.

    I would suggest that you speak to your GP

    Have you considered going to the gym? The trainer might be able to suggest exercises that would improve the tone of your weaker side.

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    • Posted

      No one has commented on it... but only because it would be harsh to do that I think. From behind for instance, you can see my ears are very different. My left ear is like more fleshy and big, while my right is thinner, and not as big, It's quite noticeable as I took a photo from behind once...then I collapsed in tears as I couldn't take it. I always think when I hear people laughing behind me, they're laughing at my flawed body.

      No amount of gym exercise on my weaker side will make it like my stronger left side... even the veins on my wrist on my right side are smaller and narrower than my left. It's everywhere. It's like I never feel properly whole. It's horrible. It's more annoying for me because I have a very sensitive body. But I try to just get on with life, as in not focusing on it. Its only when you think about it does it make me feel as if there's no way out. It caused me to nearly kill myself in 2012. Self harmed many times and have the scars still. Once I slashed my left arm so much it was covered in streaks of blood. I self harmed again a few days ago, but before that I had not done so for a long long time. Im scared all my fears are coming back.

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    • Posted

      Arun, it sounds to me as if this runs a bit deeper than assymetries in your body. I agree with Nick - you should get some psychiatric help, starting with your GP. I too am wondering how old you are. Concerns like yours are actually quite common in young people.

      I'm also wondering whether you might be exaggerating the perfectly normal assymetries we all suffer. What alerted to me to this was your story about one of your wisdom teeth growing sideways. Impacted wisdom teeth (the medical term for this condition) are incredibly common. About one person in four or five suffers from this, and has to have the impacted tooth (or teeth) removed. Although it can affect all the wisdom teeth, it's more common for just one tooth to become impacted. However significant (or not) your other assymetries might be, an impacted wisdom tooth is of no significance whatever - unless it starts hurting, of course.

      Finally, I don't want to go into too many painful personal details, but my own experience suggests that if no one has commented on your appearance, it's because no one has noticed it and not because it would be too "harsh". This is especially true if you're still quite young. To be frank, I'm hideously ugly. Always have been. I was small and slim when I was young - and am far from enormous now - but I've always had a huge head with a fat, bloated face, tiny slits for eyes which are seriously assymetrical, and no neck to speak of. In passport photos I always looked as if I weighed at least 30 stone (420lb/190kg), even in the days when I only weighed a quarter of that. I used to joke that I looked like Henry VIII on a bad day.

      And everybody noticed it. At school the other girls gave me a terrible time: "How can you see out of such tiny eyes?" and so on and so forth. As a young woman - in the 60s when the obsession with the Body Beautiful was even more marked than now - men would follow me in the street, attracted by my persistent wiggle (itself the result of an untreated congenital hip deformity), my shapely legs and my long chestnut hair. Then they'd overtake me and see my face. I've even been punched in the street by complete strangers just because of the way I looked, and I dreaded walking past building sites because of the insults I'd get. Nothing makes a certain type of young man angrier than an ugly young woman.

      Arun, if no one has ever commented on your appearance, trust me - it's because they haven't noticed anything unusual! Many young people can be very cruel, and will pick up on the tiniest unusual feature.

      And me? Well, I admit things were tough when I was young. But on the bright side, I never had to go through the agonies some beautiful women endure when they realise they're growing old and losing their looks!

      Please seek help. There's clearly nothing seriously wrong with your body. The problem is in your head, and help is available. If you don't believe me, google "body dysmorphic disorder".

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    • Posted

      I just want to say I appreciate everything you've told me, I was very emotional just now reading what you wrote. Its made me feel very humbled. You know, when I write this, and you read this, you probably think Im a totally normal person. I wish I could forget my looks, forget my appearance. I was fine when I was younger. Then the days of staring in the mirror scratching my face apart began. Im a bit annoyed you dont acknowledge the fact that my body is more than normally asymmetric. If it was not real, I assure you, I wouldnt fuss so much, if at all.

      I was and still am an introvert. Im just going to carry on I suppose, but I really want to tell someone about this in person. Im having counselling soon and I might tell the counsellor this. Its such a weird, strange abnormal obsession I cant tell you, I TRY to accept my face but I dont think I ever can. I know the asymmetry is so pronounced.

      I may have a combination of mental illnesses, and that may be the problem, the one affecting the other. The part of me that often escapes reality by thinking of fantasies that Ive never experienced in real life. Like living on an island, among the trees and wild grass, with someone else for company. And then theres the part of me, my physical body, that gives me a reason to escape, to just escape. I struggle to speak with people, I dont know what to say to them. I always think they can see my flaws. When I go outside, it's like boom, people watching me from their windows, from cars. Whenever a car goes past I think its watching me. I think the cars have eyes and they are looking at me. The headlamps do look like eyes a bit.

      Well anyway I am going to the counsellor as I said. Thank you for telling me your story... I want to say right now to you that it means so much to me for telling me this. I love it when people share with me their fears and anxieties, because it makes me feel real. Because outside, when speaking superficially to people, rarely do they talk about their hardships and troubles. I wish society would change. It does seem like Im missing something really big from my life, like something other people have but I dont. I dont know what it is. But thats for another day.

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    • Posted

      I'm glad to hear you're getting some counselling, Arun. But there really shouldn't be any "might" about telling the counsellor about your anxiety over your assymetrical looks. This is clearly an integral part of your problem, regardless of how real the assymetry is. Many of us go through life with an unfortunate physical appearance, and though we might suffer periods of unhappiness, and even self-hatred when we're young, we don't get consumed by it to the point of self-harming.

      Try and look at your anxiety over your appearance as being abnormal, rather than your appearance itself. I hope all goes well with the counselling.

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    • Posted

      "Try and look at your anxiety over your appearance as being abnormal, rather than your appearance itself." +1
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  • Posted

    HI Arun, I am not a doctor but to me i have heard of this i think its called body dysmorfia google that wink anyways, it sounds like you are getting alot of anxiety when you start to inspect your body.  This is called a "Trigger".  A Trigger can trigger feelings of Angst where you zero in and focus and can actually focus so much it makes you physically sick!  You should know many including me suffer from different types of Anxiety. Everyone has different triggers. For me just yesterday thinking I cant fall asleep because I have gone days without sleep, the bedroom will be a Trigger for me where i start to panic and get so much anxiety i start to get sick.  Another "Trigger" yesterday for me was when my son complained about the food I made for dinner and usually this wouldnt affect me, but when I went to cook again i had tons of anxiety worring if he would eat the food I made so I made two types of food (rice and two types of curry) just in case he didnt like one i made the other also. My husband commented "uh you made A lot of food today".  The whole scenario was unnecessary but this is what i put myself through involuntarily.  Medicince helps me take the edge off but it cannot cure it.  Anyways I hope something I said here was relevant for you =)
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    • Posted

      Its not dysmorphia, stop telling me its not real when I know it is. I can see it, its there. I just HATE IT. Youre telling me a different kind of anxiety. Its because you love your son, you want him to eat well, so youre making double sure he will eat it. Thats normal. And as for the inability to sleep, by the way I have a solution to this. You are right with the trigger bit, take your duvet and try to sleep in the lounge on the sofa. I put the 2 sofas together once when I was alone in the house as I felt lonely, and slept on it. Also, in my bedroom, I slept on the floor for about 6 months as I didnt like to sleep on my bed for some reason.

      I appreciate the fact you are trying to help me. I like it when people talk to me, because it makes me feel like a human being. When you are on the internet, you don't see the person, which is a problem for me because I immediately think they are thinking this and that of me and I struggle to be myself. If I met you in real life youd think I was a totally different person to who I appear like here on this forum. I dont know, maybe. I wish people would tell me what they think of me... anything that takes the focus off myself I like. But its not dysmorphia, I honestly have more pronounced asymmetry than other people. Thanks anyway

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    • Posted

      Dear Arun, I would like to address some things you said:

       "Its not dysmorphia, stop telling me its not real when I know it is." -I told you... I am not a doctor

      " I can see it, its there. I just HATE IT. " - I beleive you when you say you can SEE it.

      "Youre telling me a different kind of anxiety. Its because you love your son, you want him to eat well, so youre making double sure he will eat it. Thats normal."

      - it is not normal to make so much food. I told you I was triggered by my anxiety to please him. You are also not a doctor so I do not expect you to understand MY issues.

      "And as for the inability to sleep, by the way I have a solution to this. You are right with the trigger bit, take your duvet and try to sleep in the lounge on the sofa. I put the 2 sofas together once when I was alone in the house as I felt lonely, and slept on it. Also, in my bedroom, I slept on the floor for about 6 months as I didnt like to sleep on my bed for some reason."

      - for me this would not be a solution because continuing to sleep on a sofa would drive a wedge between me and my partner. I am working on confronting my anxiety.

      - I told you first that everyone experiences anxiety in different ways.  I was open and shared my triggers and anxiety with you. Unfortunately you took this as a personal attack

      " I wish people would tell me what they think of me... anything that takes the focus off myself I like."

      - This is a support forum. Feel free to explain yourself and exercise tolerance for other people when they are trying to offer helpful suggestions that could benefit you. It sounds like you feel you are under personal attack and you are not.

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  • Posted

    I wonder how you would go on if your were me with a broken nose now leaning to the right, one ear larger than the other (and they are both vast anyway), two eyes that are not level, and a body that would not be out of place in a Sumo wresling ring.

    No one of us perfect, but that is what we have been given, so we just have to make do with it.

    To my mind I believe it is more important to have a kind, compassionate and underderstanding nature which crosses all boundaries between the beautiful and the bleak.

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  • Posted

    Hey Arun! I'm SOOO glad I've found this thread! Everything you've mentioned, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!, is what i've been experiencing with myself for the past few years! WOW someone finally hit the nail on the head with words to describe the feeling! I also have horrible thoughts of harming myself at times because of it. It's not ok to live this way! I want to ask you if you have seeked any help for this?? and what was the outcome? HOW do you feel now? I would really love to talk more about this with someone that i KNOW feel the same exact way that i do! It would mean absolutely everything to me.
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  • Posted

    Hye Arun I can understand your problem because i also have Facing same problem its difficult to live with this problem sometimes my mind thought to suicide but my heart says no people of this world can't understand our problem and pain we are facing

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