Body Dysmorphia in Adolescents Can Be More Than the Pains of Peer Pressure
For Huffington Post, contributing author and counselor Wendy Adamson writes about Body Dysmorphic Disorder in adolescents. For generations, youth have been the target of harmful marketing and advertising encouraging them to be “cool”. “Cool” has caused a number of identity crises over the years, leaving one generation after the next with complex insecurities about themselves and the way they look. Whether it is a fashion trend, a music trend, or a trend started by someone at school, our sweet adolescents find themselves struggling to be accepted by their peers. Adamson explains, “In today’s world, with the onslaught of photoshopped images, the media has trained our youth to strive for unrealistic goals.”
Unrealistic goals create unrealistic ideals and what youth consider to be standards. Too many parents have had to witness the absolute angst and panic of their teen who doesn’t have the right shoes, the right backpack, or the right hairstyle. So realistic is this fantasy of fitting in that our children feel it is a matter of life or death. Survival of the fittest has transformed.
Unfortunately, these drastic times call for drastic measures. Many symptoms of insecurity and peer or social pressure develop in adolescence. As Adamson comments, “Sadly, many of these individuals are now turning to repeated plastic surgery procedures to help them feel all right.” Body dysmorphia, Adamson elaborates, …”usually relates to one’s own personal body image,” however, “it can also be related to anorexia, bulimia, or compulsive overeating as well.”
Body dysmorphia is becoming common among adolescents. Beyond a normal case of adolescent insecurity, body dysmorphia involves obsession, ruminating thoughts, and a distinct change in character based on this perceived flaw. Adolescents will stop socializing or participating in their favorite activities because of the way they feel about their looks. Worse, they are terrified of being rejected or judged by their peers due to their imperfections.
We know that our children are made through the love of God and created perfectly. Jeremiah 1:5 brings comfort that He knew the magnificence and unique beauty of our children before He formed them in the womb. If you sense your loved one may be forgetting their special beauty and place in the world, early intervention is the most effective way to disrupt the development of an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, or substance use. Call Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center today for information on bringing healing and peace into your child’s life. 1-662-598-4214.