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Body Image

Body Image

Many men and women strive to look better and more attractive. Increasingly people are getting the idea about what they ‘should’ look like from media images. The expectations of an image-conscious society can lead to a lack of confidence in appearance and unwillingness to do spontaneous activities. Body image problems, sometimes called body dysmorphic disorder or athletica nervosa, can even lead to phobias or depression.

For some, the pressure to change their bodies can be intense and result in the difficulties with eating associated with anorexia or bulimia or the dangers of using injectable hormones to enhance musculature. Anxieties about their bodies and desperate attempts to modify physique and appearance lead some people to extreme diets. The use of anabolic steroids in the UK is increasing. Both of these activities have been associated with serious health risks.

Overcoming these feelings can feel like a struggle for many people. Eating disorders or trying to modify the body is often a way of coping with something else. Talking to a counsellor or therapist may help to identify underlying problems. Relaxation exercises, exploring self-critical thoughts, using affirmations, practising assertiveness and many other techniques are available depending on the particular problem.

For more information on eating disorders:

This information is only general and is not a substitute for a professional consultation.

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