Ways To Improve Your Body Image

Mirror Madness

Mirror Madness

Get All The Support And Guidance You Need To Permanently STOP Having A Bad Body Image. This Book Is One Of The Most Valuable Resources In The World When It Comes To A Guide To Better Body Image.

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Selfschemas and body image

The core of body image dissatisfaction is a discrepancy between a person's perceived body and their ideal body. A failure to match these leads to self-criticism, guilt and low self-worth. Self-schema is a mental representation of those elements that make an individual different from other people. Myers and Biocca (1992) view a person's body image as one aspect of the mental representation that constitutes the self. As with other aspects of the self, the body image is a mental construction, not an objective evaluation. The authors believe that a number of reference points exist that a person will draw upon when constructing their mental model of body image. These include the 'socially represented ideal body' (ideals represented in the media, and drawn from peers and family), the objective body and the 'internalised ideal body' (a compromise between the objective body and the socially represented ideal). They argue that the body image is elastic in that its reference points frequently...

Skin disease and body image

Body image can be hypothesised as the 'inside view' that pertains to our own highly personalised experiences of our looks. For many people in society, body experiences are fraught with discontent, unhappiness and self-conscious preoccupation, and body image problems are difficulties in their own right, contributing as they do to a large range of psychological disturbances (Papadopoulos & Walker, 2003). Early in the 20th century, body image concepts and studies had a tendency to focus on neurologically impaired patients. Although this brought the area of body image into the domain of scientific study, little attention was paid to the psychological aspects of body experience. More recently this has changed and in the past 20 years, much of the research on body image has emanated from a burgeoning interest in clinical eating disorders. Indeed much has been gained from this marriage of body image and eating disorders research but there have also been detrimental consequences (Cash &...

Body image and sexual intimacy

Another important area in a couple's relationship is that of sexual intimacy. The association between body image and sexual functioning is a good illustration of the reciprocal nature of interpersonal influences in skin disease (Weiderman, 2002). Common sense dictates that good sex is about confidence, feeling good about yourself and your body. Yet, many dermatology patients struggle with physical intimacy and often have sex lives that are fraught with difficulties. A negative body image can damage the perception of self as a sexual being and thus disrupt intimacy in a relationship. Gupta and Gupta (1997) investigated the impact of psoriasis on the sexual activities of 120 sufferers and found that 40 experienced a decline in sexual activity and had higher scores on depression than non-affected patients. Embarrassment over unsightly or painful lesions was most apparent during intercourse which also confirms past research that sexual functioning is disrupted in dermatology patients if...

BDD and other body image pathologies

Patients with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa often present with excessive concerns about their cutaneous body image in addition to concerns about their weight and shape (Gupta & Gupta, 2001a). The eating disorders can be associated with a wide range of dermatological (Gupta et al., 1987 Gupta & Gupta, 2000) complications related to starvation, bingeing and purging, abuse of laxatives and other related symptoms (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Acne has a peak incidence during mid-adolescence, a life stage that is associated with a high incidence of eating disorders. In some vulnerable adolescents even mild acne may exacerbate or precipitate an eating disorder such as bulimia nervosa (Gupta et al., 1987 Gupta & Gupta, 2000). The endocrine changes associated with binge eating may cause a flare-up of acne (Gupta et al., 1992), which is frequently observed in patients with eating disorders (Gupta & Gupta, 2000). In these patients the disfigurement...

The psychological impact of skin disease

Research into the manifestations of psychocutaneous disorders has led to an increasing awareness of the psychosocial effects associated with skin disease. These include depression, a decreased sense of body image and self-esteem, sexual and relationship difficulties, and a general reduction in quality of life (Dungey & Busselmeir, 1982 Obermeyer, 1985 Porter et al., 1987 Papadopoulos et al., 1999). Indeed, research has shown that people with skin disease experience higher levels of psychological and social distress (Root et al., 1994), poorer body image and lower self-esteem than the general population (Papadopoulos et al., 1999) and higher avoidance of situations where their skin may be exposed (Rubinow et al., 1987). Leary and colleagues (1998) suggest that the degree of social anxiety depends on a person's confidence regarding their ability to successfully manage the impression they make and it has been shown that social anxiety is a mediating factor between the severity of a...

Posttraumatic stress disorder

Tactile nurturance, consisting of secure holding and hugging, is essential for the formation of a healthy body image (Gupta et al., 1995), including cutaneous body image. When there is neglect and or abuse in early life, the infant does not experience healthy tactile nurturance and may be predisposed to developing body image problems in later life. It has been observed that a perceived lack of adequate tactile nurturance is associated with body image problems (Gupta et al., 1995). A patient with a significant history of trauma or neglect may therefore present with dissatisfaction with their body image including cutaneous body image.

Personality disorders

The personality disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) are defined as an enduring pattern of inner experience and behaviour that is pervasive across a wide range of personal and social situations and deviate markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture. The personality disorders that are most frequently encountered in dermatology include Borderline, Narcissistic and Histrionic personality disorders which all fall in the 'Cluster B' (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) category in the DSM-IV and Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (which is categorised in 'Cluster C'). Borderline personality disorder is associated with a pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, affects and self-image, and impulsive behaviours. Such patients are often 'difficult' as their instability in interpersonal relationships and self-image are also manifested in their relationship with their dermatologists and other health care providers. Such patients often try to...

Prevention of Eating Disorders

Preventive measures should include education about normal body weight for height and techniques used in advertising and the media to promote an unrealistic body image. Parents, teachers, coaches, and health care providers all play a role in prevention. Parents, coaches, and teachers need to be educated about the messages they give to growing children about bodies, body development, and weight. In addition, they need to be aware of early signs of risk. Health care providers need to include screening for eating disorders as a routine part of care. Specific indicators include dieting for weight loss associated with unrealistic weight goals, criticism of the body, social isolation, cessation of menses, and evidence of vomiting or laxative or diuretic use.

Specialist Interviews

Bjordal et al. (1994a) interviewed 21 specialist nurses, oncologists and surgeons. Seventeen of the 57 issues identified in the literature search were regarded as being irrelevant, too rare, or too broad in scope. Although five specialists felt that questions about body image and sexuality were irrelevant, these items were retained because previous statements by patients had indicated that they might be important. Fifty-nine new issues were also proposed, and eleven of these were added, resulting in a provisional list of 43 issues.

Representative Sample

The module of Bjordal et al. (1994a) is intended to cover problems over the whole range of H&N cancers. This is a heterogeneous group of patients, since the disease affects different anatomical sites, and they receive different treatment modalities. The symptomatology and the QoL issues that concern these patients vary considerably. For example, patients receiving radiotherapy for early laryngeal cancer may report problems with speech, social function and role function, whereas patients receiving surgery or radiotherapy for cancer of the oral cavity are more likely to experience pain, problems with their teeth, trouble eating, body image concerns and sexuality problems.

Predisposing developmental factors

As previously stated, children are likely to internalise the prevalent stereotypes and any consistent negative reactions received from others, particularly significant others. Such factors are likely to be instrumental in shaping underlying cognitive structures associated with self-concept and personality. Indeed, Cash and Labarge (1996), and Altabe and Thompson (1996) have defined body image in terms of appearance-related schemas or mental representations developed in childhood.

Theoretical models of the psychological impact of skin disease during childhood

The visibility of the child's condition is also thought to have an impact on the child's adjustment to their condition. Many skin conditions are immediately apparent to other people and children, and their families have to manage the reaction of other people to the child's condition on a daily basis. Papadopoulos et al. (2000) compared the impact of acne which was mainly on a young person's body with acne mostly on the face, and showed that the visible, facial acne sufferers had lower self-esteem and that their body image was more affected than if it was on their body.

Toxicity Side Effects

Functioning in females and males, with a higher frequency of ejaculation disorders and erectile functioning that worsen over time 66 . Despite a decrease in sexual function and body image in patients that undergo an APR, one year after combined treatment patients exhibit improvement in some important quality of life outcomes 67 .

Compare Alexithymia And Coping Style Between People With Ms And Other People

Altabe, M., & Thompson, J.K., (1996). Body image a cognitive self-schema construct. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 20, 171-193. Benrud-Larson, L.M., Heinberg, L.J., Boling, C., Reed, J., White, B., Wigley, F.M., & Haythornwaite, J.A. (2003). Body image dissatisfaction among women with scleroderma extent and relationship to psychosocial function. Health Psychology, 22, 130-139. Ben-Tovim, D., & Walker, M.K. (1995). Body image, disfigurement and disability. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 39, 283-291. Cash, T.F., & Labarge, A.S. (1996). Development of the appearance schemas inventory a new cognitive body-image assessment. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 20, 37-50. Kalick, S., Goldwyn, R., & Noe, J. (1981). Social issues and body image concerns of port wine stain patients undergoing laser therapy. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 1,205-213. Rumsey, N., & Harcourt, D. (2004). Body image and disfigurement issues and interventions. Body Image, 1,83-97.

The social and psychological impact of skin conditions

Perhaps not surprisingly given the potential, social, and physical consequences previously described, elevated levels of psychological morbidity have been reported within the literature (Harlow et al., 2000 Picardi et al., 2001 Picardi et al., 2003a). The kind of psychological difficulties commonly found have included anxiety (e.g. Jowett & Ryan, 1985) depression including risk of suicide (e.g. Hughes et al., 1983 Cotterill & Cunliffe, 1997 Humphreys & Humphreys, 1998) lowered self-esteem (e.g. Jowett & Ryan, 1985 Porter & Beuf, 1988 Van der Donk et al., 1994) feelings of shame (e.g. Jowett & Ryan, 1985 Salzer & Schallreuter, 1995 Thompson et al., 2002) and concerns with body image (e.g. Papadopoulos et al., 1999b Benrud-Larson et al., 2003).

Accurate targeting is essential for intracranial and extracranial stereotactic radiosurgery and for most of the modern

BrainLab Novalis radiosurgery unit and ExacTrac Novalis Body image guidance system (Version 3.5, BrainLab, AG, Heimstetten, Germany) were used in this study. The ExacTrac Novalis Body system is the integration of the infrared optical system and the X-ray image system. The Infrared optical system is mainly composed of two infrared cameras securely mounted on the ceiling, emitting low infrared signals and monitoring the positions of infrared reflective markers placed on the patient's skin. The infrared system is not only used for initial patient setup with external infrared markers on the patient skin, but also for precise control of the treatment table by attaching the table with a 'reference star', which is consisted of 4 infrared reflective markers. The X-ray system is composed of two floor-mounted X-ray tubes projecting stereotactic beams to the corresponding flat-panel amorphous-Si detectors mounted on the ceiling. Two X-ray images are taken and fused with the 3D simulation CT...

Software Approach to Image Registration

In particular, combining complementary whole-body image data sets retrospectively is not straightforward due to the difference in patient set-up and variable definitions of the axial examination ranges of the two imaging modalities, which are often acquired independently by different medical personal. Further, normal variants of the position and metabolic activity of bowel and intestines at the time of the two scans, as well as dissimilar breathing patterns contribute to additional systematic difference in the two data sets. Although some of the positioning errors may be overcome by non-linear image warping techniques and 3D elastic transformations 6 these registration algorithms are typically limited to a single anatomical region like the thorax 5-9 and are often labour-intensive, thus making them less attractive for routine clinical use in high-throughput situations.

The Cultural Context of Hunger

One approach to increasing understanding of hunger and its psychological components is to examine hunger in its cultural context. In American culture, the experience of hunger is inextricably tied to weight, eating, body image, self-concept, social definitions of fatness and thinness, and other factors which take the issue of hunger far beyond the physiological facts. Historian Hillel Schwartz has traced the American cultural preoccupation with hunger, eating, and diet by examining the cultural fit between shared fictions about the body and their psychological, social, and cultural consequences. Hunger becomes a broader social issue when viewed in the context of the culture's history of obsession with dieting, weight control, and body image. The personal experience of hunger is affected by the social and historical context. Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive overeating provide evidence of the complex relationship between the physiological and psychological...

Causes of Eating Disorders

Anorexia nervosa is a body-image disorder in which fear of being fat results in undereating and other behaviors that lead to emaciation and, if unchecked, death. (Hans & Cassidy, Inc.) Anorexia nervosa is a body-image disorder in which fear of being fat results in undereating and other behaviors that lead to emaciation and, if unchecked, death. (Hans & Cassidy, Inc.)

Psychosocial impact of skin diseases

Cognitively appearance-altering, cutaneous conditions can have a profound effect on self-concept and on body image. Any minor deformity or disfigurement can contribute to the development of heightened body awareness. Cutaneous conditions can often have a progressive and episodic course making it necessary for the patient to adapt to changes in physical appearance. Hence, patients must not only learn to cope with the challenges of living with an appearance that deviates from the norm but also to adapt to a changing body image. That is, skin disease patients must develop and maintain a sense of self-esteem without relying upon physical attractiveness. This is an extremely difficult task given the fact that the robust relationship between self-esteem and body image has been underscored in numerous studies (Papadopoulos et al., 2002).

B7 Lymphedema Shoulder Immobility and Brachial Plexopathy

Arm edema or lymphedema in breast cancer patients is caused by an interruption ofthe normal filtration process that occurs between capillaries, interstitial tissue, and lymphatic vessels in the arm. Under normal circumstances, capillary pressures force fluid into the interstitium and reabsorption pressures pull most ofthe fluid back into the capillary at the venous side. The remainder of the filtered fluid and protein are removed by lymphatic vessels. Without the functioning lymphatic system, protein, cells and non-reabsorbed fluid remain in the interstitial tissue. The stasis of fluid in the subcutaneous tissues of the arm leads to increased weight and girth of the extremity. Patients with arm edema secondary to breast cancer therapy can experience difficulty performing skills at home or work because of functional impairment, psychological distress as a result of the change of body image, and chronic pain, leading to significantly reduced QOL.96'97'98 The primary treatment factors...

Difficulties in communication

A new romantic partner can be delayed (Papadopoulos & Walker, 2003). Ginsburg (1996) argues that the status of a patient's self-esteem and body image prior to disease onset is clinically important in determining how they are likely to cope with an altered appearance. Secrecy may lessen opportunities for embarrassment (Miles, 2002) however, as a communication strategy, it reflects significant anxiety related to appearance (Kent & Thompson, 2002). Cosmetic products are useful for many patients in that they lower anxiety by improving appearance, which in turn can increase self-confidence regarding romantic acceptance (Leary & Kowalski, 1995). There is a danger however that if improved self-esteem stimulates further interest in appearance, 'camouflaging' may become a psychological tool for maintaining social functioning (Meli & Giorgini, 1984).

Major depressive disorder

The psychiatric morbidity in acne (Gupta & Gupta, 2001b) is often the most important index of disease severity and often the most important factor in deciding whether or not to institute treatments for the acne, especially in the case of mild-to-moderate disease. The psychiatric morbidity in acne can be severe and comparable to the disability resulting from other chronic disorders such as diabetes and asthma (Mallon et al., 1999). In contrast to psoriasis, the severity of acne does not necessarily correlate with the severity of depression (Aktan et al., 2000 Yazici et al., 2004), as even mild-to-moderate acne has been associated with depression, suicidal ideation (Gupta & Gupta, 1998) and completed suicide (Cotterill & Cunliffe, 1997). Adolescent acne patients who experience problems at school or work and blame it mainly on their acne may be clinically depressed (Gupta et al., 1998). Treatment of both mild-to-moderate non-cystic acne (Gupta et al., 1990) and the treatment of cystic...

Sources for Further Study

Early Childhood Television Viewing and Adolescent Behavior. Boston Blackwell, 2001. Of particular relevance to those interested in aggression are chapters 6 ( Aggression ) and 9 ( Self-Image Role Model Preference and Body Image ). The five coauthors of this valuable study seek to explore the roots of aggression in teenagers in terms of their exposure to violence through television viewing in their formative years.

Psychological Adjustment

Sique may make them feel conspicuous and awkward, while at the same time they may be popular with boys and experience more dating opportunities. They also may have to deal with parents and other caregivers who have reacted to their early sexual development by being overly restrictive. The beauty ideal for women in American society, as portrayed by the media, is that of a prepubescent female. Changes in body fat related to puberty thus may lead to body image problems, as entry into puberty increases the distance from the beauty ideal just as girls become most interested in it. As with boys, the consequences of early and late maturation decrease over time. However, either early or late start of menarche seems significantly more difficult to deal with than if more typical.

Carl Walker

Al'Abadie, 1994 Papadopoulos & Bor, 1999). Some of the issues which have been explored in recent research have tended to focus on morbidity in the areas of depression, anxiety, self-esteem, body image, quality of life and relationship sexual issues (Papadopoulos & Walker, 2003). This focus on the potential psychosocial conflict caused by dermatological conditions indicates the range of issues pertinent to the holistic experience of skin disease.

Comparative Aspects

The APR has often been referred to as a formidable operation associated with significant changes in body image. Devlin et al. 14 and Williams and Johnston 15 painted a very gloomy picture of colostomy patients' QoL, the majority suffering from leakage and odour restricting their social life. However, although an AR leaves patients' body image intact, the procedure may be associated with considerable functional disturbances. Excision of tumours in the mid and distal third of rectum means sacrifice of the major or entire part of the rectal ampulla thereby interfering with the delicate recto-anal nervous control of defecation and continence. Increased evacuation frequency, defecation urgency and imperfection of continence is inevitable, occurring in between half

QoL and Stoma

Progress in neoadjuvant therapy and the use of mechanical staplers have led to a dramatic reduction in the number of abdominoperineal extirpations (APE) during the last 20 years. So far, whenever feasible, the golden standard in the treatment of rectal cancer is a sphincter-saving procedure such as AR. In many of the works in the literature, a definitive stoma is generally associated with a reduced QoL 37-40 , with an increase in social isolation 41 and deterioration of body image.

Anorexia Nervosa

Malignancies, AIDS, superior mesenteric artery syndrome (postprandial vomiting due to gastric outlet obstruction) are not associated with a distorted body image nor the desire to lose weight. E. Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Additional distortions of body image must be present to diagnosis this disorder.

Metastatic disease

A common dilemma for patients needing androgen deprivation therapy is whether to undergo surgical versus medical castration. While costs, trips to the doctor's office and body image are common features that direct the decision, two recent studies have looked at QOL issues. In the PCOS observational study,74 a large group of patients were identified who were treated with primary androgen ablation for localized, locally advanced and metastatic disease by either LHRH agonist or orchiectomy. This study was non-randomized and several baseline variables were different, making comparisons difficult. Nevertheless, significant declines in sexual function and interest were found with either therapy. Of interest, stage and other prognostic factors did not affect quality of life and satisfaction rates were 90 in each group. Litwin etal.75 performed a longitudinal study using the SF-36 and UCLA PCI. The study is small (47 combined androgen ablation vs. 16 orchiectomy) but achieved an impressive 84...

About the book

Ben-Tovim, D.I., & Walker, M.K. (1995). Body image, disfigurement and disability. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 39(3), 283-291. Cash, T.F. (1993). Body-image attitudes among obese enrollees in a commercial weight-loss program. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 77, 1099-1103. Cash, T.F., & Brown, T.A. (1987). Body image in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa a review of the literature. Behavior Modification, 11,487-521. Cash, T.F., & Pruzinsky, T. (1990). Body Images Development, Deviance and Change. New York Guildford Publications Inc. Myers, P., & Biocca, F. (1992). The elastic body image the effects of television advertising and programming on body image distortions in young women. Journal of Communication, 42, 108-133. Noles, S.W., Cash, T.F., & Winstead, B.A. (1985). Body image,physical attractiveness, and depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53, 88-94.


The interface between psychiatry and dermatology is multidimensional and begins in early development. The skin is a vital organ of communication and the earliest social interactions between the infant and its caregivers occur via the body, especially through touch. A disruption in tactile nurturance, for example, as a result of a skin disorder during infancy or due to childhood abuse and or neglect can be associated with serious psychiatric morbidity in later life including major depressive disorder, body image pathologies, a tendency to self-injure and dissociative states when there is significant psychological trauma present in association with the neglect. The importance of the skin in social communication is further exemplified during adolescence when the development of a cosmetically disfiguring skin disorder such as acne can be associated with depression, suicidal ideation and body image disorders including eating disorders. The role of the skin as an organ of communication...


Right Postauricular

A 45-year-old woman with a history of right postauricular melanoma and previous resection of metastases in the right parotid and ip-silateral cervical lymph nodes, was referred for a restaging 18F -FDG PET scan prior to possible radiotherapy to the operative sites. A coronal whole body image shows multiple metastatic lesions in subcutaneous, lymph node, lung and visceral sites (arrows) throughout the body. Figure 16.6. A 45-year-old woman with a history of right postauricular melanoma and previous resection of metastases in the right parotid and ip-silateral cervical lymph nodes, was referred for a restaging 18F -FDG PET scan prior to possible radiotherapy to the operative sites. A coronal whole body image shows multiple metastatic lesions in subcutaneous, lymph node, lung and visceral sites (arrows) throughout the body.


Persons with eating disorders have a distorted body image and unrealistic ideas about weight. Although such disorders are found primarily among young, middle- to upper-middle-class, well-educated Caucasian women, eating disorders increasingly affect and may be overlooked in men, older women, and persons of color. No single factor appears to be the cause of eating disorders, with social, cultural, psychological, genetic, biological, and physical factors all playing a part. Treatment may include hospitalization for nutritional monitoring and for stabilization in persons with serious medical complications or who are at risk for suicide. Regardless of the setting, treatment is best carried out by a multidisciplinary team, including a primary care physician or psychiatrist, a psychotherapist, a nutritionist, and, if appropriate, a family therapist. Eating disorders are best thought of as problems involving body weight and distorted body image on a continuum of severity. The most serious is...