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Body Image Issues and Your Mental Health

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How you feel about your body is important for your mental health. Learn about how body image issues affect your mental health.

Body Image Issues and Your Mental Health

How’s your relationship with your body? How do you see yourself? These might seem like odd questions, but when it comes to your mental health and wellbeing, they’re important.

Body image issues are common. Most of us can find flaws to pick on and things about our bodies that we’re unhappy about. However, for about 2.4 percent of the United States population—2.5 percent of women and 2.2 percent of men (American Psychiatric Association, 2013)—body image issues are severe enough to qualify for a disorder called body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). For people with BDD, body image concerns seem to dominate thoughts and emotions and limit behaviors. Worries may or may not relate to weight. If they do involve weight concerns and impact eating, an eating disorder can develop in addition to BDD.

Whether or not your concerns about what you believe are defects in your appearance qualify for BDD, body image issues can severely impact self-esteem, overall mental health, and your sense of wellbeing. They seem truthful and cause you to see exaggerated flaws. Worse, you might even believe that these “flaws” define you. These are distorted beliefs, and seeking assistance from a doctor or mental health professional can help you realize that you aren’t flawed, nor are you defined by your appearance. You don’t have to continue to suffer.

Resource:
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.

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Your Thoughts

Today's Question: How have body image issues affected your mental health? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, experiences, and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.

From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.

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That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the HealthyPlace.com site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network (like facebook or stumbleupon) you belong to by clicking the links below. For updates throughout the week, follow HealthyPlace on Twitter or become a fan of HealthyPlace on Facebook. Also, check out HealthyPlace on Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, where you can share your mental health pins on our Share Your Mental Health Experiences board.

back to: HealthyPlace.com Mental-Health Newsletter Index

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2020, April 28). Body Image Issues and Your Mental Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, July 9 from https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/mental-health-newsletter/body-image-issues-and-your-mental-health

Last Updated: April 28, 2020
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Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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