My everyday life is ruined by my obsession with photos.

Postby Greenpanda » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:56 am

Hi there,

I have become completely obsessed with documenting everything I do in photos. Not only that, I am always horrified by pictures of myself. I end up taking a ridiculous amount of photos of myself, in the hope I can take one I like, even though I don't like the idea of photos of being self-obsessed in principle. I think I have this fear of life disappearing and having to prove to myself in the future that it actually happened and was worthwhile. I am forgetful which I hate and dread forgetting my life, as I have for most of my time so far - I am currently in my early 30's.

It affects others too. I am currently travelling with my gf and I take about 500 photos per day. This need to document my life is crazy. She hates it so much we argue and she no longer wants to take photos with me (understandably). I have even put myself in potential danger by climbing up mountains and staying too late into dark because I couldn't stop taking photos.

If I see a photo I deem important and I look horrible in it, it will literally ruin my day if not days. I cannot stop thinking about it. My body acts like it is severely stressed and I will be on the brink of tears. Even once it goes from my mind, a simple reminder of the moment will start it all up again. Today for example, I took a short video of us driving with us in it and the scenery. When I looked back at it I was disgusted at how I look and it ruined my day. It won't leave my mind and feels as if I have ruined the moment because I cannot look back on it or at the video without being miserable. I feel my stomach and heart drop, my heart starts pounding and I get a strained headache before wanting to break down. It is what I am assuming is a panic attack or similar.

The fact I know it is ridiculous and no one else would deem it important makes it even worse. The feeling of something so major going wrong with my life and affecting my emotions so drastically when we are talking about photos is embarrassing and pathetic but I cannot change how my body responds.

I am assuming it is a severe lack of self esteem along with other issues and I can't talk to people about it because on the surface it is pathetic and there's no obvious justification to my emotions. There has to be some deeper issue for my reactions.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:54 am

Start with a limit each day. After the day is over, ask yourself what was the worst thing that happened because you didn't take unlimited photos?

Each consecutive day, set the limit 5 photos lower. Ask yourself the same question. Was your day really that much worse with 495 instead of 500 photos? Get down to a day without photos.
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Postby cynthialeighton » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:42 pm

Greenpanda wrote:in the hope I can take one I like,

Pause for a moment.


Pay attention to one breath, breathing in and then breathing out.

Now look around you. Notice what you appreciate in this moment.

Refrain from taking a picture of whatever that is for the moment.

Allow yourself to experience your gratitude for whatever's in this moment.

Then? From time to time, repeat. Do not turn it into a list, and seek to find something different from the last few times so that you're varying your experience.

At the same time? Yeah, what Richard said.
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