Six Things People with Body Issues Wish You Knew
People with body issues either don’t actually see their bodies as they are when they look in the mirror, or are deeply self-conscious about and unhappy with their bodies. These are 8 things they really wish that you knew.
One: Around 2.25% of people in the United States have a Body Image Disorder
Body image disorders are more common than you think, and aren’t always who you think they are. While people who weigh more or less than average are often singled out for taunting and ridicule, fitness experts, body-builders, models and beauticians often have the highest rate of BID.
Two: Both Men and Women Experience Body Image Disorders.
While women come under attack and scrutiny more for their bodies than men do, men still have issues with their body image – including weight, hair loss, height, and muscular definition issues. There is approximately a 45% / 55% split between men and women when it comes to BID, but sadly only 30-40% of those treated for BID are men.
Three: Body Image Disorders aren’t “All in the Head”
While it may seem easy for you to say “You look fine! Get over it!” The fact is that they don’t feel fine and they can’t just get over it. They aren’t hypochondriacs, they aren’t vain – they have a legitimate issue that is often (although not always) genetic.
Four: Body Image Disorders are often coupled with other Mental Health Issues
People who experience hatred of their body or an inability to see it realistically often suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, OCD, social phobias, or a combination of these issues. Body Image Disorder can be a contributor to the other issues, or they could be affecting the BID. 76% of people with BID will be severely depressed at some point, and 50% will become addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Five: Body Image Disorders don’t Automatically mean Eating Disorders
Only around 33% of people with body image disorders also have an eating disorder. However, those who do have eating disorders often find the BID is linked – those who tend to have the most complex and locked down eating behaviors also have the most debilitating body image concerns.
Six: Body Image Disorder can be so Severe it make People Suicidal
People with body image disorders are more likely to kill themselves than many other demographics. 80% suffer from suicidal ideation, 25% attempt suicide at some point, and 2-3% commit suicide.
Treating body image disorder as a real, serious, and treatable problem is something that can literally save lives. If you see patients with BID, then make particularly certain your professional mental health provider insurance is up to date.