In a society that sets impossible beauty standards and is highly body-conscious, it is common for individuals to feel some dissatisfaction with their physical appearance. But for some, this self-critique far surpasses normal dissatisfaction and reaches the realm of a body image disorder or body dysmorphia. Body image disorders cause a deeply distorted perception of the physical body; so-called “flaws” may seem more noticeable and important than they truly are. This, in turn, can cause intense psychological distress that, if left untreated, can negatively impact physical, occupational and social function or cause drastic or unhealthy behavior, including hazardous cosmetic surgery. Symptoms of body image disorders vary from person to person, but include the following:
- Obsession with physical appearance (as a whole or specific areas) and/or intense unhappiness with physical attributes
- Inaccurate perception of body
- Low self-esteem or self-hatred because of dissatisfaction with physical appearance
- Extreme amounts of time spent looking in mirrors OR total avoidance of looking in mirrors
- Conviction that others are constantly staring at or judging perceived physical “flaws”
- Avoiding social interaction because of body image anxiety
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide resulting from emotional distress
Body images disorders and their symptoms are often accompanied by a pre-existing mental health disorder or past trauma. These things can cause a disconnect between the mind and the body, causing inaccurate self-perception and the resulting psychological and emotional distress. In order for individuals to fully recover from body image disorders, it is vital that both the underlying health disorder and the co-occurring body image disorder are properly treated.
Solara Mental Health understands the complex nature of co-occurring body image disorders and has created a program specifically designed to address their complexity and promote healing. Our caring, expert clinicians will work individually with each client to explore the root of their distorted self-image and address the painful emotions that come with that image. From this understanding, clinicians and clients work together to develop a treatment plan that is as comprehensive as it is individualized. We utilize a variety of therapeutic modalities—including psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, and somatic therapies—that will address all symptoms and needs. All of this is enhanced by the safe, tranquil environment that our facilities provide. Through our program, clients learn to replace distorted and damaging thoughts with realistic, healthy ones. This helps to rebuild the mind-body connection, alleviate mental and emotional suffering and build self-confidence.
While our clients make considerable and rapid improvements, co-occurring body image disorders are often long-term conditions. Through years of experience, Solara Mental Health has learned how to provide the entire spectrum of care, from inpatient treatment to outpatient care, transitional living to continuing case management. We offer a long-term aftercare plan to ensure maximum, long-term success. Our Psychiatric Center is committed to freeing our clients from the clutches of co-occurring body image disorders, and each of our programs are created to ensure this.
Contact us now to start the healing process.