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Anorexia

Gender Differences: Some Thoughts on Female Embodiment and Disordered Eating


In September 2016, Psychology Today ran a cover story about narcissism. The accompanying visual was of a young, white, conventionally attractive woman preening into her cellphone. She was wearing a tight little mini skirt and had the body of a fashion model. Leaving aside the tedious misogyny of this image -- with some difficulty, but that’s not what this article is about -- I do want to say something about the host of assumptions about women and their bodies encoded in this image.

What are those assumptions? That stereotypically attractive women (that is, women who are white, young, small, and in clothing that reveals their bodies) are vain and narcissistic; and that such women gleefully use their physicality as a commodity to promote themselves. The image both uses and enforces the idea that female-bodied beauty takes a specific form. It also both uses and enforces the connection between women and their bodies as social capital, and moreover as social capital that women themselves delight in and profit from. The realities of rape culture, of the ways women are objectified and commodified and tacitly understood to be cultural property, and the toll this takes on the personhood of so many women, these realities are actively denied by this image.
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

How to Chase Away Your Summertime Blues

Does your stomach turn when the thought of summer begins? Do you feel lonely, sad, or depressed in the summer months? Is it hard for you to plan a vacation, or get some good shut eye? If so, don’t feel bad, because you are not alone. In fact, reverse SAD occurs in about less than 10% of the population during the summer months.

Most people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD when winter rolls around, the more common form of SAD. But summertime reverse SAD, while temporary, and short lived, can still be very emotionally taxing for the summer months that are endured.
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Bullying

The Mirror: A Place to Be Compassionate

I know many compassionate people. They are kind. They are forgiving. They are charitable towards others. And yet, they are mean, vindictive and show no mercy when they assess themselves in the mirror.

I doubt that it will come as a surprise to you that most (but not all) of these people are women. Oops, I should say girls and women. For the syndrome begins with pre-teens and travels the length of time to great-grandmas.  
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Anorexia

Increase Your Body Confidence: 3 Steps that You Can Practice Today


Americans spend billions of dollars on weight-loss and workout programs in order to try to achieve the “perfect body.” Advertisements promise confidence, improved self-esteem, impeccable health, and romance once the perfect body is achieved.

The myth that we are presented with is that we are just not trying hard enough if we aren't thin.  

The ads, and even our healthcare system, do not acknowledge the scientific evidence that body size and shape are under significant genetic control. Body composition is a lot more complex than simply calories-in and calories-out.   
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Anorexia

Full or Fulfilled? Another Way of Looking at Eating Disorders

A young woman shared a brilliant insight into what she perceives as a long term eating disorder. She said, “I think I eat until I am so full that I want to burst, because I don’t feel fulfilled in my life.” She is talented, caring, devoted to family and friends, intelligent, creative and loving… to everyone but the woman in the mirror. As she said this, I was astounded since it so perfectly illustrates what for many is the doorway to food intake patterns that are unhealthy.

Over the years, she has binged and purged, as well as restricted food in an attempt to "have a perfect body." There was a time when she felt she had come close, but just like her emotional state, it would morph to fit the expectations of those around her.
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Aging

Psychology Around the Net: July 22, 2017


Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

Confession time: I've been struggling a lot lately with work-life balance. Hasn't everyone at some point? Probably. Trying to manage work responsibilities, exercise, some semblance of a social life, personal hobbies and passions--oh, and let's not forget a proper sleep schedule--whew. Failing--and failing for longer than you care to admit--can bring on the panic, anxiety, and depression in a major way.

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Anorexia

‘My Daughter Won’t Eat!’ 3 Tips if Your Teen Struggles with Disordered Eating


So, its dinner time and you’ve been logging away hours at the stove preparing what you thought was your daughter’s favorite meal; mashed potatoes, steak, and green beans. She has always loved this meal. Ever since she was very young, her favorite food has been mashed potatoes. But this night is different, just like most of the nights the past 2 months. Sally, 13 years old, wont eat. You pray and hope each night will be better. Just maybe, she will have a few more bites than the night before. Sally sits down to eat and oh, no. She isn’t eating, again. She slowly moves her green beans around on the plate, pretends to take bites, and gulps down her water, filling herself up with liquid instead. This is your life lately and you have no idea what to do.
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Addiction

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: For More Than Borderline Personality Disorder

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), developed by Marsha Linehan in the late 1980’s is a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy that was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD).  It is now considered the treatment of choice for individuals with characteristics associated with symptoms of BPD such as impulsivity, interpersonal problems, emotion dysregulation, self-harm, and chronic suicidal behaviors.
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