I've been thinking about it, and I know when it happened for me. I used to be the eternal optimist, bordering on narcissistic. I thought I was both clever and beautiful. If people were staring at me, I assumed it was out of awe or jealously. I could make mistakes and just laugh it off, because in the back of my mind I always just thought I was great. Great, and destined for great things. Nothing could phase me. Then, one day I looked at a photo of myself. And suddenly I realised. I am not all that good looking. I'm only average. In fact, I was ugly. This was a huge shock. I became obsessed. I got my digital camera out and started taking shots of my face, close up. I had never seen myself in this light before. Every imperfection was magnified by the flash. I was horrified. Suddenly, my 'back up', of atleast I am good looking, was gone. Then, I went to college. I began failing classes. I realised I was not all that smart either. My other back up. Gone. Superficial jerk? Yes, probably. But I think all happy people are like that - deluded, but in a good way. Most people hold a higher opinion of themself than is warranted - its called a healthy self esteem, even if its based on delusion. But I had become a realist.This turned into full blown depression, paranoia and anxiety. Whenever someone would stare at me I assumed it was because I looekd weird. Every mistake I made really hurt, and I would feel extremely dumb all the time. I could barely drive a car witha passenger without having a panic attack, imagining taking the wrong turn, looking like a fool. In about 6 months I swung from self love to self hate, and I have never matured out of the self hate phase. It still follows me aroudn today and affects all my work, relationships and school. How about you?