Broken Mirror Syndrome

A form of obsessive compulsive disorder that may affect as many as 1 in 100 people, according to the International OCD Foundation. The disorder commonly starts in adolescence when children begin to compare themselves to their peers. The obsessions can consume a person's thoughts, harming every aspect of their life. In 2007 I was preparing for my 2nd bodybuilding competition. Seeing the changes in my physique week by week had me pumped up and highly motivated. Around two weeks away I started to feel myself slip into a negative state of mind. I quickly snow balled out of control and found myself making trips to the nearby gas station to load up on all the sweets and junk food I could find. I remember one time I ate over two dozen honey buns. Crazy right? Sitting in my chair that was given to me by a client I would lay back and tell myself how I would fail at the goal of placing in the top 5 of one of the largest Texas shows around because I didn't deserve it.  I missed my goal of placing in the top 5 by placing 7th in a very tough line up of 20+ competitors. It taught me a valuable lesson and I slowly patched the behavior but it took me years to fix it.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height="32px"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Here are some of the strategies that helped me get back in a better frame of mind. It started the road of loving myself again:

Behavioral Experiments

This can be critical in testing thoughts. An example would be, "If I criticize myself after overeating, I'll overeat less" vs. "If I talk to myself kindly after overeating, I'll overeat less." Figuring out whether self-criticism or self-kindness is more effective in reducing future overeating. This will help counteract thoughts like when your kind to yourself you will give yourself a free pass to overeat and lose self-control.

Thought Records

These are also designed to test the foundation of thoughts. "Everyone thinks I'm ugly." You could do a thought record evaluating the evidence for and against that thought. Things against the thought would be like "My best friends always says she is jealous of my body." "Backstage all the girls said they loved my hair and make up." Look at the thoughts that were negative vs the ones that were positive side by side. Come up with more balanced thoughts like, "I feel like this when... Feeling like this is negative. If I was really ugly my boyfriend wouldn't tell me I was beautiful all the time." Thought records help on a logical level.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height="32px"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="35649" alignment="center" style="vc_box_border" border_color="grey" img_link_large="" img_link_target="_self" image_hovers="true" img_size="300x300"][vc_empty_space height="32px"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Happy Activity Scheduling

Write down the next seven days down on a piece of paper. For each day, schedule a pleasant activity that you wouldn't normally do. Doing activities that produce higher levels of positive emotions in your daily life will help your thinking become less negative, narrow, and rigid.

Situation Exposure

This involves putting things you would normally avoid on a list. For example, a person that hates looking in the mirror, wearing things that show there arms, or covering the scar that you have hated for so long. Work your way into these things slowly. Experiment with each item several times over a period of time until the distress you feel about being in that situation is about half of what it was the first time.


Try bringing to mind a recent memory that provoked you to feel a certain way. Play it through your mind and keep visualizing the image in detail until your level of distress reduces about half its initial level.

This list of techniques is a short list but will give you a good idea of the variety of techniques that are used for self therapy. They helped me over come a lot and put me in a better place emotionally, spiritually, and physically.