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Body Dysmorphia

Updated: Aug 7, 2022

Body Dysmorphia is an issue that is starting to be seen in younger and younger clients - with some sufferers being as young as 5 - 8 years old. More often though the onset begins around the ages of 12 and 13 with full distress developed by 16 - 17 years of age. Body Dysmorphia isn't just about the view of the body in relation to weight - it can also manifest as skin picking, hair plucking, eye lash pulling and self harm, amongst other examples. And whilst a higher percentage of those seeking help identify as female, it can still very much affect men, such as a desire for greater muscle tone or bigger/smaller body parts.

The rise in social media has significantly impacted how people feel about themselves, though the phenomena of idolising models with "perfect bodies" goes back many decades. Recent statistics from the UK say that 93% of women have negative thoughts about their bodies, whilst 54% of girls want to change something about themselves. This has led to an increase in cosmetic surgery as a result of self esteem anxiety, which boils down to the person not feeling good enough as they are. As many as 70% of the population carry some type of narrative around something being wrong with them. For me personally, over the years I have had, at some point, a problem with my hair colour, weight, height and I most certainly wish I had appreciated my boobs for what they were in my 20's as opposed to now! I am able to see now, that each of those issues I had came as a result of a comment made by someone else and me feeling not ok as I was.

Some examples of side effects from suffering body dysmorphia are: taking up smoking to reduce appetite, hunger affecting concentration and memory and thus school or work performances, social anxiety (avoiding social situations), substance abuse, OCD, personality disorders, suicide idealisation, depression and phobias. A common thought can be "I don't fit in" and thus hypnotherapy will assist in working on the relationship with self, and what potentially occurred in the past that created the situation of today - finding why or how the external fix is meeting an internal need. If you know anyone who needs helps accepting themselves as they are, NJK Hypnotherapy can assist.

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