News Roundup: Perfectionism Linked to Eating Issues

barbie doll fashionLast week was National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which recognizes an issue that is deserving of increased awareness considering the millions of people in the United States who experience eating and food issues for some portion of their lives.

Many point to media messaging and the objectification of both women and men—though primarily women—in television, movies, and advertising as being to blame for warped sense of self-worth when it comes to body image and size.

A recent study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders also claims that time spent on Facebook leads to poor body image in women, and may be driving some young women to develop eating issues due to excessive levels of anxiety regarding physical appearance. Societal obsession with social media and projecting the perfect self-created image into the virtual realm is largely what keeps sites like Facebook thriving.

And yet, the pressure to capture those profile-perfect photographs may be taking a significant toll on the psychological well-being of some—especially those whose minds and identities are still in the formative stages of development.

A group of leading psychologists in Britain have also targeted the perfectionistic and highly competitive nature of Britain’s private school culture with contributing to widespread issues with eating and body image among adolescent girls. Apparently, being driven and under enormous amounts of pressure to excel academically and otherwise is pushing an alarming number of young women to seek mental health services for eating-related issues.

In other mental health news this week…

A Strong Sex Life Helps Couples Cope with the Trials of Aging

Ailing health and chronic illness can take a toll on relationships at any age. As committed couples get older, new research reveals that regularly engaging in sexual intimacy can help them weather life’s many storms.

How Depression Could Save Your Life

Depression is often viewed as a flaw or deficiency of the human condition. However, recent research suggests that depression has adaptive and survival benefits for both humans and animals.

Schizophrenic and Wanting to Connect

A man diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 20 shares his experiences with the condition, particularly his desire to connect with those around him—and the challenges he has faced in doing so.

Vince Li Granted Unsupervised Outings

Vince Li, a man with schizophrenia who stabbed, beheaded, and ate parts of another man’s body on a bus ride from Winnipeg to Edmonton in 2008, has been granted unsupervised outings from the mental hospital that has been housing and helping him since the incident occurred.

If He’s Sexually Aggressive in Bars, It’s Not Because He’s Drunk

NPR reports on a recent study that suggests males become aggressive toward women in bars not because they are drinking too much, but rather because they are intentionally preying on drunk women.

Strange But True: Music Doesn’t Make Some People Happy

Research conducted by psychologists at the University of Barcelona reveals an interesting tidbit: Some people feel entirely unmoved and unaffected by music, a condition known as amusia.

Feel-Good Story of the Week: Lupita Nyong’o Gives Moving Speech at Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood Event: ‘There is no shame in black beauty’

You’ve probably seen it by now, but Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o gave a particularly poignant speech upon receiving the Best Breakthrough Performance Award at Essence magazine’s Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon in Beverly Hills, California. She spoke of her personal experience navigating the road to self-acceptance, and the roles that race, skin color, body image, and shame have played in that journey—with the ultimate message that true beauty comes from within.

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  • polly

    polly

    March 9th, 2014 at 5:04 AM

    It is so hard to be a teenager today. There are all of these unrealistic ideas about what a young girl or any female really should look like and I have to say that as a woman this is beginning to take quite a toll on many of us. It is hard to day after day try to be the best person that you can be and still be shown that this is not good enough and that it is far more important to be a certain size than it is to try to do the right thing for others. I can see how especially in younger women this can be quite a burden and it could for sure lead them to unhealthy ideas about food and their own bodies.

  • Marge

    Marge

    March 10th, 2014 at 2:54 AM

    My husband and I have been married for 34 years, and as we got older I thought that having sex would become a challenge. But it hasn’t so far, thank goodness, and I know that keeping it an integral part of our marriage has been a huge factor in keeping our marriage strong and healthy. There are always time where you don’t necessarily start out wanting to be intimate but sometimes just being close to each other for a period of time kind of helps change the mood and move things along. I know that my marriage has never been solely built on this but I do think that the intimate relationship that we have has been a big factor in holding things together many times.

  • Traci D

    Traci D

    March 11th, 2014 at 4:02 AM

    Being depressed could save my life? No thanks, I think that I will try to avoid that!

    I look at all of the people who don’t make it through being depressed as anything more than a shell of their former selves, and I don’t see anything positive in that at all.

    I would hope that I would be strong enough to get through it, but watching the struggles of so many others makes me realize that this has to be even more difficult than I imagined and that I too might come out of this diminished rather than stronger.

  • val

    val

    March 13th, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    So there is a name for what I have.
    All this time people have been telling me I am weird and strange because music in general has absolutley no effect on me one way or the other. It never makes me happy or sad like it does for others and I don’t feel this intense connection to certain styles or songs in the way that most other people seem to.
    But now I know that even though I am in the minority there are others like me!

  • Beverly Mason, LPC, PC

    Beverly Mason, LPC, PC

    April 4th, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Polly, who is it that decides if you are “good enough” or not? Good enough for who? Your own self respect is what is important. If you aren’t “good enough” for someone, that person is not your friend. They are an enemy to who you are. Be an individual. Do what you want, wear what you want, and do not associate with people who accept you only if you do what they expect. Be a leader, not a follower. Why does their opinion matter?

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