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Body image refers to how a person perceives, thinks, and feels about his or her own body. Negative body image develops most often in early childhood, with 50 percent of pre-adolescent girls and 30 percent of pre-adolescent boys stating they dislike their bodies. A negative body image perception can be quite dangerous, leading to many possible long- and short-term consequences. Several clinical studies, for example, show a negative body image is typically present in the development of eating disorders.

Eating disorders are complex psychological conditions that are characterized by abnormal, irregular eating habits, and an extreme concern with one’s body weight or shape. There are several different manifestations of eating disorders. The various types are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) under the Disorder Class: Feeding and Eating Disorders. There is no single, identifiable cause as to why someone develops an eating disorder. Research has, however, indicated certain biological, psychological, interpersonal, and social risk factors that have been noted to increase one’s susceptibility for developing an eating disorder.

Social media is a “collective term for websites and applications that focus on communication, community-based input, interaction, content-sharing, and collaboration.” Social media has become ubiquitous in the lives of Americans, as it offers a platform for communication, information sharing, and entertainment. According to the Pew Research Center, 69% of adults and 81% of teens in the U.S. use social media. While social media has its benefits, such as connecting people across the globe and facilitating the spread of knowledge, there are also potential risks associated with its use. Several studies have suggested that “social media exposure could foster body dissatisfaction and result in risky eating behaviors by broadcasting thinness ideals individuals thus long for,” as physical appearance holds a central place in social media.

Although social comparison has long been a part of life, social media has greatly increased the number of opportunities to compare and the ways in which these types of comparisons occur. Social media offers an easily accessible arena for users to engage in detrimental comparison, “based on physical appearance and thinness ideals’ internalization through daily exposure to idealized bodies.” Studies have shown that individuals who compare their physical appearance to that of others they considered to be more attractive (e.g., social media influencers, models, celebrities, peers, etc.) had a higher chance of being dissatisfied with their body image and developing an eating disorder.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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