A Guide to Body Image Issues in Teenagers

Facing the Changes

Throughout adolescence, teenagers experience major shifts not only with their bodies but in all facets of their life: for many, this can be both a daunting and frightening experience. Teenagers can often lack an understanding about why their bodies are developing and for others, they might struggle to deal with the overwhelming changes.

When children, teenagers and adults alike all have a sense of stability and security within their lives, it can be easier to face new challenges; however, teenage years consist of self-discovery, doubt, and a strong desire to fit-in. For many, these years can be a real test of self-esteem and strength of character; plus, with the constant bombardment of the ideal body shapes and sizes that are advertised on social media, even the most confident are highly vulnerable to falling into this distorted reality of trying to reach an unattainable perfection.

Undoubtedly, there can be a lot of peer pressure for teenagers to follow certain fashions and trends and many of the clothes lines can often flaunt and emphasise certain body parts. It can be easy for teenagers to make comparisons between themselves and their peers and shift all of their attention and self-worth onto how they look.

Understanding Underlying Issues

There are an abundance of ways that teenagers can be encouraged to embrace who they are and what they are capable of beyond their physical appearance. By recognising and drawing attention to their skills and talents, this can help teenagers to create the fundamental separation between who they are as a person and what they have to offer besides from their body and physical appearance. Getting teenagers to practice self-love and appreciation can also be a strong way to focus on other positive aspects of their lives and this can also be done through creative outlets such as writing, drawing, and painting.

Importantly, body image issues are prevalent across all genders. Often, when there are underlying issues, attempting to control body image can be a strategy to deal with unwanted feelings and emotions. These issues can be channeled by monitoring food intake, counting calories and over-exercising as a means to control whatever they cannot deal with. By encouraging teenagers to open-up and discuss their thoughts and feelings or any issues that they could be contending with, this can teach them healthy and rewarding coping mechanisms.

On some occasions, the strategies to try and help teenagers to deal with the changes throughout their lives and with their bodies might not be enough. Body issues can transpire into both exercise addictions and even life-threatening eating disorders such as Anorexia or Bulimia nervosa. Changes in behavioral patterns and a withdrawal from things that they once enjoyed can be key indicators of these disorders and it is important that the correct help is sought. With highly qualified staff that are experienced within this field, services such as igniteteentreatment.com can offer the requisite advice, guidance and support to both teenagers and their families to start a positive and rewarding recovery journey.

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.