Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope
Negative body image is a reality that many individuals struggle with. Having poor body image is something that can occur regardless of gender, race, culture, or socioeconomic background.
Many factors can contribute to the development of poor body image, including both biological and environmental factors, and the struggle with a negative self-image can drastically impact the quality of life that someone may have.
Socializing and Opening Up Can Be Difficult
If you or someone you love has been struggling with poor body image, you can likely relate to the manner in which this affects you on a daily basis. Depending on the severity of negative body image, you may find it difficult to relate to others, engage in relationships, sustain a career, or participate in social events.
A negative body image and poor self-esteem can also become problematic in relationships or interfere with a person’s ability to be intimate with someone they love.
Finding Professional Help
Because of the complexity of body image, finding professional help to work through these issues are crucial to recovering and learning how to build a positive body image. This may involve the support of a professional counselor or therapist, who can help you identify and work through any underlying issues that may be contributing to a poor body image.
In addition to professional help and treatment, reaching out for and building a support team can also be an important part of recovery and healing.
Relating and Opening Up to Your Support Group
While It may be difficult to confide in others about what you are struggling with, processing your thoughts and feelings with a like-minded support group can be extremely therapeutic. A therapist or counselor may be able to refer you to a support group that can help encourage your journey with body image and serve as a place where you can openly share any fears or challenges you are encountering in your journey.
The process of rebuilding body image can be overwhelming at times, but leaning on the foundation of a strong support system can be the encouragement you need to help you though this process.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
How have support groups been a helpful part of your recovery and in rebuilding a positive body image? What resources might you share or recommend with others who may be struggling with a poor body image?
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 12th, 2015
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com