Faulty Self-Image and Eating Disorders

Faulty Self-Image and Eating DisordersSelf-image is defined as the idea, conception, or mental image one has of oneself. People develop a self-image based on their own observations, but also from the observations and reactions of others. These observations are collected over-time and contribute to a person’s overall views of “who” they believe they are and the traits that make up their identity.

A person’s self-image has a significant influence over their entire life. How a person views himself will shape his self-esteem, self-confidence, and how he allows others to treat him. People tend to set limits according to how they perceive themselves; e.g. an individual may not consider himself “book-smart” or intelligent so he avoids furthering his education at a university, or life events may cause a person to believe he is not funny, so they avoid telling jokes or partaking in humorous banter in social situations. It is unfortunately quite common that a person can have a faulty self-image, constructed by negative ideas, observations, and perceptions.

Life events can cause an individual to believe that they are someone they are not or that they possess certain traits or attributes that they do not. A faulty self-image can set individuals up for failure or it can hinder one’s capabilities.

The Effects of Faulty Self-Image and Low Self-Esteem

Faulty self-image can cause many serious issues, especially those having to do with physical features. As environment and society have a heavy influence on a person’s self-image, what others deem to be physically attractive can influence whether a person finds himself attractive or physically appealing. The media plays a chief role in casting the prototypical “attractive” specimen, and individuals of all ages feel pressure to adhere to whatever body type, hair color, skin tone, and other characteristics that are meeting the current beauty trends. When individuals experience so much pressure and outside influence on who they need to become in order to be accepted or thought attractive, they may develop a faulty self-image because they are basing their own perceptions and ideas on the thoughts and ideas of others. These unrealistic standards can greatly affect an individual’s everyday decisions, and may even carry life-long consequences.

Faulty self-image often involves disappointment and causes uncertainties and insecurities about one’s identity. Eating disorders often result from issues concerning faulty self-image, low self-esteem and lack of self-identity. Faulty self-image can cause body dysmorphia and other issues where a person’s perception of his body or appearance doesn’t match with reality. A faulty self-image can cause a person to believe they are overweight, out of shape, or the wrong body type, and this can influence unhealthy eating behaviors. The insecurities and negative feelings that result from faulty self-image, poor self-esteem, and an unidentified sense of self can cause individuals to resort to extreme behaviors to change traits they are unhappy with. This can provoke starvation, over-exercising, binging and purging, and unhealthy dieting. Eating disorders generally result from emotional trauma or distress, and addressing faulty self-image and other psychological issues like this can have a great impact during the treatment of an eating disorder.

Seeking Help for Eating Disorders and Self-Image Issues?

If you are seeking help for an eating disorder, please call our toll-free number to speak with a recovery professional who can help. Our recovery professionals are available 24 hours a day to assist you and your search for treatment and recovery. Whether you have questions, need information, or are ready to find treatment options today, we are happy to help.