Women; Body Image and Eating Disorders

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Society has standards of beauty for women that lead to issues related to body image. The women become conscious regarding their bodies. Negative body image can lead to an eating disorder. Eating disorders can have an impact on mental and physical health. Hence, one should consult the Best psychologist in Karachi to lead a healthy life.

What is negative body image, and how does it lead to eating disorders?

Body image refers to one’s own belief and perception related to the attractiveness of their body. Appearance can have an impact on physical and mental health. A negative body image is when individuals are dissatisfied with their appearance. It is the major reason that individuals become conscious of their weight that can lead to unhealthy ways of reducing weight. 

What factors are associated with negative body image?

The factors that influence women to be more conscious include social media and unrealistic expectations of looking like models. Also, society has a pressure to look a certain way. The remarks direct the individual to remain in a constant state of consciousness and anxiousness that affects the overall physical and mental functioning.

What are different types of eating disorders?

Reportedly, women are prone to develop eating disorders mainly due to negative body image. The different types of eating disorders are:

  • Anorexia Nervosa: Individuals with anorexia nervosa see themselves as overweight even though they are underweight. They are rigid towards food intake and avoid certain foods considered to have high calories.
  • Bulimia Nervosa: Reportedly, individuals in their adolescence get diagnosed with bulimia nervosa. The individuals find it difficult to control while eating and consume food in large quantities. Afterward, they purge to compensate for the extra intake of calories. 
  • Purging Disorder: To maintain their body mass individuals get into purging behaviors such as using laxatives, vomiting diuretics. Moreover, they excessively exercise that can correlate to other physical problems.

How can a psychologist help?

The psychologist can help the individual to understand the causes and symptoms. The interventions that are proven to be effective regarding negative body image and its correlation to the eating disorder include:

  • CBT: Cognitive-Behavioral therapy helps individuals in modification of their thought processes by introspecting into their perception, feeling, behavior and emotions. Also, the therapy helps the individuals to self-monitor their behavior that contributes to increased anxiety. The understanding enables the person to realize that the unhealthy ways of reducing weight are causing other physical and mental problems.
  • Fitness Training for women: The aim of fitness training is to help the person understand that it is essential to focus on the functioning of the body rather than how they look and what others think about their appearances. It helps in boosting self-esteem and acclimating healthy lifestyle.
  • Psychoeducation: This intervention is used to help the person understand the consequences related to eating habits that can have an impact on health and relationships.
  • Enhancement of self-esteem: People have to be appreciative and accepting of individual differences. The intervention helps the person realize they are different and the first step is to accept themselves and be confident.

Most of the women are conscious regarding their body image and adopt unhealthy ways to deal with it. It is best to consult a psychologist in Islamabad to become more aware.