From the images in magazines, to the men and women featured in movies and television shows, we are constantly bombarded by what society considers the “perfect body.” If you don’t feel like your body fits the norm, it’s not unusual to develop body image issues. These issues can lead to eating disorders and other mental health disorders, including depression.
If you or a loved one struggles with body image, you are not alone. An experienced Psychologist like Dr. Nisha can help you find your way to a healthy relationship with your body.
Who is Affected
Anyone can have body image issues. The majority of those who struggle with body image issues, though, are women and girls, with one study finding that as many as 86 percent of women experienced dissatisfaction with their bodies. Men are vulnerable to a negative body image too, though.
Causes of Body Image Issues
Body image issues stem from a perceived difference between your appearance and what you consider to be the ideal appearance. Although body image issues often stem from weight, they may also stem from other perceived flaws like a scar.
Media has a significant influence on body image. Day in and day out, you see images of what the “ideal” body. This can lead to extreme behaviors to try and achieve the ideal body, including extensive cosmetic surgery and excessive dieting and exercise. It can also lead to mental health issues like body dysmorphic disorder, depression, eating disorders, and anxiety.
Types of Body Image Issues
Body image issues can negatively impact your self-esteem. This can lead to mental health issues, including:
- Anorexia nervosa, which is extremely restricted eating.
- Bulimia, which is alternating cycles of binging and purging.
- Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), which is an extreme preoccupation with perceived flaws.
- Depression, which is persistent feelings of hopelessness and a lack of interest in what you previously enjoyed.
- Anxiety, which is persistent feelings of worry and fear
How Counseling Can Help
Counseling can help you develop a healthy body image. This doesn’t mean thinking your body is perfect. A healthy, positive body image means that you accept your body the way it is with minimal judgment. An experienced counselor can help you improve your body image by:
- Helping you accept people of all shapes and sizes without judgment
- Helping you move away from dieting to a healthy relationship with food and exercise
- Helping you accept that some aspects of your appearance are genetic, and that’s okay
- Challenging the images and messages you see in the media
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an approach to therapy used by many counselors to help people with body image issues. CBT helps you challenge negative, irrational thought patterns and replace them with healthier, more positive thoughts. A therapist like Dr. Nisha can help you develop healthy behaviors that support your health.
Contact Dr. Nisha Today!
If you struggle with body image, you’re not alone. Working with a counselor can help you lead a healthier, happier life. Contact Dr. Nisha to start your journey to a better life and get the help you both need and deserve.