Distorted Reflections
Distorted Reflections
09 Dec 2023

Distorted Reflections- Is There A Connection Between Body Dysmorphia and Eating Disorders?

Low self-esteem, a distorted body image and mental health, and low body dissatisfaction are the most common co-occurring conditions with eating disorders.

In a rigorous case of body dysmorphia, a person experiences obsessional, fixated mental conceptions on certain body components or body areas that are thought to be hideous or deformed in some way. These two can frequently occur together.

What is Body Dysmorphia?

People with body dysmorphia can experience many different effects. This could involve feeling unattractive. An obsession with one's skin or hair is authentically one of the most prevalent worries among people with BDD.

Let's say a friend confides in you that they feel self-conscious about their skin tone and acne cicatrices. You're shocked to learn how much this is affecting your friend when they openly share this with you; you weren't even vigilant of the cicatrices until your friend pointed them out. Your friend claims that they isolate themselves because they feel "hideous" and disconcerted to go out in public.

They withal disclosed that they were feeling preoccupied at work and under financial hardship as a result of devoting a considerable duration to endeavoring to discover answers for their skin. Supplementally, your buddy disclosed that they have an obsession with their skincare regimen and engage in perpetual deportments because they feel obligated to maintain it, albeit it takes a plethora of time each day, which averts them from getting enough slumber. Your companion may suffer from BDD. This is because the value of physical appearance appears to be paramount in today's society.

People who suffer from body dysmorphia frequently continue to believe that they are flawed, even in the face of external validation or proof to the contrary. This can result in enduring emotions of guilt, fear, and self-loathing. Their quality of life may be significantly impacted by this unending loop of negative ideas and actions, which may also hasten the onset of co-occurring disorders like social anxiety disorder and depression.

What is an Eating Disorder?

Severe vicissitudes in a person's eating behavior are a sign of eating disorders, which are grave psychological and medical issues.

Eating disorders can afflict people of sundry ages, genders, colors, nationalities, and body types, despite the notions circumventing them.

Eating disorders can have an impact on an individual's perception of victuals and how it relates to their weight. Among them are:

Anorexia nervosa: This disorder is characterized by rigorous and deliberate dietary restriction, a profound desire to lose weight, or a trepidation of gaining weight.

Bulimia nervosa: To "compensate" for victualing, sufferers of this disorder may alternate between bingeing on aliment and purging, fasting, or inordinate exercise.

Binge eating disorder: When a person has this illness, they frequently overeat when they're alone, not hungry, and/or consume a lot of food quickly. People frequently experience embarrassment or disgust after engaging in such behavior.

While not meeting the diagnostic criteria for certain diseases, some individuals have symptoms of them. A diagnosis of unspecified feeding or eating disorder (UFED) or other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED) may be made in certain circumstances.

Some eating disorders are more closely related to neurological or physical problems. Among them are:

Avoidant restricted food intake disorder (ARFID): This illness is characterized by calorie restriction brought on by a distaste for the texture or flavor of food. While it can happen at any age, kids are more likely to experience it.

Pica: This condition results in strong desires for non-food substances like sand or hair. Pregnant women, undernourished youngsters, and those with intellectual disabilities are the groups most likely to experience it.

Rumination disorder: This condition is characterized by partially digested food being regurgitated, chewed again, and then swallowed or spit out. It is an uncontrollable response that may arise from a disease, trauma, or emotional turmoil.

How are Body Dysmorphia and Eating Disorders connected?

Despite being separate diagnoses, eating disorders and body dysmorphia can coexist in clinical presentations. Body dysmorphia is a condition in which many people with eating disorders stress over perceived defects in their appearance while continuing to participate in disordered eating behaviors.

Eating disorders and body dysmorphia have a complicated and multidimensional relationship. Some people's body dysmorphia, which fuels the quest of thinness or an idealized body form, may occur before disordered eating practices. In other circumstances, the restricted eating behaviors associated with eating disorders may worsen feelings of body dissatisfaction and feed inaccurate opinions of one's appearance.

Furthermore, the emphasis placed on thinness and attractiveness in society upholds unattainable ideals of beauty, which exacerbates eating disorders and body dysmorphia symptoms and contributes to body dissatisfaction. Ads, mainstream media, and social media frequently present unrealistic standards of perfection, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy and the urge to make radical changes to one's appearance.

How do you begin the healing process?

Eating disorders and body dysmorphia pose serious threats to people's mental health and physical health, impacting millions of people globally. Through an appreciation of the intricate relationships between these ailments and the treatment of underlying psychological, emotional, and social variables, we can endeavor to de-stigmatize these problems and advance evidence-based, compassionate treatment and recovery methods.

Ultimately, a dedication to self-acceptance, self-discovery, and self-care is necessary for recovery from eating disorders and body dysmorphia. It's a road full of highs and lows, victories and disappointments, but with support, tenacity, and a readiness to ask for assistance, people can recover their sense of self-worth, mend their relationship with food and their bodies, and create a life that brings them joy, meaning, and purpose.

How can Samarpan help?

To aid those with Body dysmorphia and eating disorders , we at Samarpan use multidisciplinary approach that is customized to each patient's specific requirements and circumstances. Individuals can acquire healthier coping mechanisms, a more positive body image, and the ability to question inaccurate views about their appearance with the support of psychotherapy, especially dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

Medical and nutritional support may be required in addition to therapy, particularly for those with severe or potentially fatal eating disorders. Meal planning, medical supervision, and nutritional counseling can assist improve physical health and treat any underlying medical issues brought on by disordered eating habits.

Besides that, community-based services and peer support groups can also be very helpful in the healing process since they give people a feeling of belonging, validation, and support while they work through the difficulties of recovery. These tools can enable people to defy social conventions and embrace their distinct identities and bodies by creating a supportive environment and encouraging self-compassion and acceptance.

Samarpan is a leading international standard counselling centre, which is staffed by experienced and qualified professionals from India and overseas. The counselling centre offers One to One Counselling, Intensive Outpatient Programs, Peer Support Groups, Family Support Groups, Psychological Assessments, Psychiatric Assessments and Psychiatric consultations.

Located in Churchgate, Mumbai – Samarpan caters to clients in a modern, confidential and well equipped centre – which is easily accessible. On-Line sessions can also be offered.

For information and how to book an appointment we contactable on Phone or WhatsApp on +91 81809 19090.

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