The social pressures of the modern world mean it is often easy for people to suffer from unrealistic expectations and poor self-image of their body and appearance. When people feel bad about themselves, they can feel very uncomfortable and unhappy. This can make day-to-day life extremely unpleasant, and make it difficult to interact with others. Some people may feel that others are judging them as harshly as they judge themselves, criticising every part of their body.
Many body image issues relate to eating disorders, in which abnormal attitudes to food cause someone to adopt inappropriate eating habits and behaviour. The more commonly recognised types of these body image issues include:
- Binge eating
- Bulimic Binge
- Binge eating disorder
- Anorexia nervosa
- Body dysmorphic disorder
These horrific conditions affect millions of men and women every day. Sadly, they are intensified if our self-image is abused or ridiculed by someone we love or trust. It's a simple fact that no-one is entirely perfect, and that we all have flaws, but if someone we love is critical of us, it can lead to acceptance that it is true and unavoidable. Neither need be the case.
Some of these conditions can be addressed through self-treatment. This might typically include the use of self-help books, CDs and DVDs, and involvement with support groups. In eating disorders, keeping a food diary can help, as can allowing occasional indulgences. The setting of realistic short and long-term goals can also be useful.
Our aim is to help you believe that your body is an amazing and beautiful thing. You can learn to accept your unique traits and character, and to love the individual features that
make you the single unique person you are.
Before considering hypnotherapy, you must get agreement from our doctor. Soulworks will then work to identify the root cause of the problem, and help you overcome most of these issues through various techniques using hypnotherapy, NLP and EFT. This enables you to replace any negative ideas of so-called 'perfection' with a conviction of the appreciation, love and acceptance you deserve.
Body image issues
Binge eating: People who binge eat large amounts of food in a short space of time, often when they are not even hungry. Bingeing often takes place in private, and the person may feel they have no control over their eating. Afterwards, they may have feelings of guilt or disgust, which may cause depression and anxiety. And depression and anxiety can themselves be causes of binge eating. Binge eaters do not seek to purge themselves after eating, either through being sick or using laxatives.
Bulimic binge: Similar to binge eating, bulimics try to control their body weight by binge eating and then purging themselves after eating. The condition can affect both men and women, but women are ten times more likely to suffer. Sufferers tend to act in secret, but signs of bulimic behaviour include:
- an obsessive attitude towards food and eating
- leaving soon after eating, usually to vomit or visit the toilet
- episodes of overeating
- periods of starvation
- unrealistic opinions about body weight and shape
Binge eating disorder
This is similar to bulimia, but sufferers do not purge and are often morbidly obese. They may need someone to supply and prepare food, in which case that person would also need treatment.
Anorexia nervosa is both an eating disorder and a serious mental health condition. Even when clearly significantly underweight, anorexics are very anxious about their weight, and control it by eating as little as possible, and perhaps exercising excessively. Some sufferers may also binge eat and purge. They often deny they have any problem, and cannot accept any suggestions to overcome the problem. Sufferers may think that wasting away through not eating is some kind of deserved punishment. Most anorexics are women, although men can be affected too. The seriousness of the condition is such that around 20-30% of people will not respond to treatment, and around 5% will die from complications caused by malnutrition. The long-term malnutrition associated with anorexia can cause a range of serious complications, including osteoporosis (weakening of the bones), kidney disease and heart failure. Anorexia can only be treated with hypnotherapy when working as part of a medical team.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
BDD is a psychological disorder in which the sufferer is excessively concerned about perceived defects in their physical appearance, even though they are of normal or attractive appearance. This can cause distress that affects their normal social and professional functions, sometimes leading to severe depression, anxiety and social withdrawal. BDD may also be associated with eating disorders.
Symptoms of BDD may include:
- an obssesive thoughts about perceived appearance defects
- obsessive and compulsive behaviour related to appearance
- low self-esteem
- suicidal thoughts
- panic attacks
- inability to perform normal daily tasks
- seeking perfection
- reluctance to seek help, from embarrassment
- compulsive mirror checking or a refusal to look in mirrors or at photographs of one's self
- attempting to camouflage the 'defect'
- distraction techniques, such as flamboyant clothing
- compulsive skin touching
- excessive grooming
- seeking reassurance from loved ones
- making comparisons with others
- obsessive gathering of information
Contact Miranda for further information or to request a consultation. Enquire now