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hi sam,
im 13 and recently i have been having really bad problems with the way I look. I just dont like the way I look and its got to a point that i cant look in a mirror or look at photographs of me as i feel so bad and worthless. what is the matter with me?
G*
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Sam

Hi G*,

It’s natural to become more aware of the way you look as you go through puberty. Changes to your body could make you think more about how other people see you. Sometimes it can be hard to cope with this change.

If you start to feel very self-conscious and dislike yourself, that can be painful and hard to cope with. It could be important to remember that lots of young people have similar feelings about themselves and the way they look. Many of them are talking about body image issues on our message boards. We also have some advice on our how you look page.

When you have some very negative thoughts and feelings about yourself, it can be hard to change them. Trying to do some things to build your confidence and self-esteem might be a good place to start. Perhaps you could think about trying something new with friends. Or you could set yourself small goals. Achieving something can really help your confidence, even if it's just a small thing.

Talking to someone can be a good way to get a different perspective on difficult thoughts and feelings. You could think about talking to an adult you trust for support. If that doesn’t feel like an option for you, you can always talk to a ChildLine counsellor.

Take care,

Sam

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