Most people are concerned with their physical appearance and would like to change a feature or two. In some cases, though, this becomes a personal perception that is damaging to their mental or even physical health. Working with an experienced mental health therapist can help these individuals gain a balanced point of view and live a healthier, happier life.
Body image is how people view and value their physical selves as well as how they believe others see them. When people have problems with body image, they may become obsessed with minor or imagined flaws in their physical self and judge themselves critically by how they think they look. They may also believe that others see and judge this same imagined flaw.
A distorted body image can be mild or so severe that a person has difficulty leaving the house or going out in public because of the negative perception of self. Those struggling with body image may use extreme measures to disguise or hide minor or imagined flaws by use of makeup, clothing, and plastic surgery. People may also avoid mirrors or even remove them from the house to avoid seeing their reflection.
This set of fixed, false beliefs and behaviors is also known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and should be addressed with the help of a mental health professional. Similar body issue disorders and related conditions include eating disorders, anxiety, depression, or abuse and trauma.
Addressing and moving through BDD by partnering with a mental health clinic can be life-changing. As we learn more about body image and the mental health care implications of self-perception, therapists have found that tools involving mindfulness, EMDR, and CBT can be especially helpful. Contact The Calli Institute to discover more about your body image and how to help gain a more balanced, healthy life.