Body Image
Ethical understanding Health and PE
How do you see your body? Explore different thoughts about body image while promoting a healthy lifestyle and positivity with this collection to share with your class.
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51:59 | Published 2 years ago
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Insight

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Mind versus Body

Can We Think Ourselves Sick? A twinge in your back; a sudden headache; a feeling of numbness in a limb; an inexplicable lump. Would you ignore the unusual feeling? Or assume the worst? For many Australians, just ignoring such feelings is not an option. Formerly known as hypochondriasis, illness anxiety disorder can see people become preoccupied by the possibility that changes in the body might be the sign of serious illness. They experience high health anxiety. Stephanie Huynh convinced herself that a lump in her back was cancer. When half of Slava Prakhily's face went numb, she was certain it was multiple sclerosis. Often these thoughts can lead us to consult Dr Google, in search of a diagnosis. The tendency to head to the internet when we're feeling sick is so common it even has a name: cyberchondria. But can the stress of a possible illness exacerbate symptoms? Is it just the anxiety that's making us feel worse? Or can the internet actually help? For others, the power of the mind over the body is less simple. Kimberlee Allen experiences non-epileptic seizures, but her brain scans are clear. Miranda Licence was suddenly unable to move in her legs without explanation. Just because there is no obvious cause, however, does not mean nothing is wrong. This week Insight asks: how much power do our brains have over our bodies? Is that power strong enough for us to think ourselves sick?

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