Q: Hello i have been suffering from depression for over two years it all started two years ago when i was in a house fire the heat came in contact with my eyes because i had to keep them open. Over the next couple of days i noticed a change in my eye color my eyes were fine and so was my sight but my eye color seemed to have changed darker i belive somehow the heat may have damaged or effected my iris causing my eye color to turn darker. I have had my eyes checked and everything seemes fine but i did not ask about my eye color i have posted many questions on the internet about my eye color but no one seemes to know how the heat could of caused this. So i am now starting to think it may not have changed at all but it is just all in my head. I am really depressed and unhappy i have now excepted that i must see a daoctor because i know my deppression is getting worse but the problem is i carnt seem to bring myself to telling my doctor or anyone what is actually causing my deprssion. Have you ever heard of this before and what advice can you give me thank you?
A: I think what you are experiencing may be some form of body dysmorphic disorder. This is the preoccupation with a real or imagined physical defect. My best guess is that you are more upset by your experience with the house fire than you may want to acknowledge. Your concern about eye color is a way to distract yourself from feelings that may be overwhelming. This is understandable and actually very creative. Notice that the word “depression” has within it the word “press.” Your depression may also be a way of “pressing” down feelings that you aren’t sure you can handle.
You did bring yourself to tell a doctor about the cause of your depression. You told me. Now that you’ve broken the ice by writing to me, take the next step. Make an appointment with a counselor. If you still find it too difficult to say the words out loud, simply show him or her our correspondence.
I think you’ve been sitting with unresolved trauma from the fire quite long enough. It’s time to get the support and practical help you need to get back to your old self.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Sep 2008
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Could a house fire cause a change in my eye color?. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 20, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/09/22/cpuld-a-house-fire-cause-a-change-in-my-eye-color/