September 23, 2014 - Staring Back

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Warped Selfie .   

Excerpt of article from Fernwood Fitness magazine. Art Charles Blackman, ‘Children Playing’ (original in colour).

When does time spent in front of the mirror stop being about preening and start becoming a problem?  We look at the devastating impact body dysmorphic disorder can have on our kids and how you can foster a positive environment where appearance isn’t everything.   Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) describes a disabling preoccupation with perceived physical flaws.  Affecting both men and women, it causes excessive self-consciousness and, while onlookers might see nothing out of the ordinary, sufferers experience extreme anxiety causing them to withdraw from school and social activities for fear people can also see the ‘defects’ they see in the mirror.   (Guys suffer from this too – see article here) – and/or continue on…..

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While the condition is not a recent phenomenon, several mental healthcare professionals cite the damaging impact the media’s obsession with beauty can have.  “One recent development has been social media and its ability to turbocharge the cycle of self-consciousness.  Comparison is an essential feature of BDD, and in a digital context where selfies are everywhere it’s easy to compare yourself to other people,” says Dr Buchanan.

According to the UK-based BDD Foundation, each year one in 330 people diagnosed with BDD commit suicide and, while BDD is more strongly associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder and other anxiety-driven conditions, around 50 per cent of sufferers will have experienced an eating disorder at some point.


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October 18, 2009 - Anybody – Somebody ?

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Knock Knock .

Designed this ‘Knock, Knock’ campaign postcard for Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2007 (WA) as part of my involvement in the Bridges Eating Disorders Collaboration Committee here in Perth which brings together key service providers and stakeholders in the community with the aim of improving both services and awareness of eating disorders.    The Butterfly Foundation (VIC) recently initiated a National Collaboration Group which brings together relevant and interested parties throughout Australia. .

February 28, 2008 - Baring Souls

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Baring Souls.

Talk at Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital, Bridge’s inspirational evening, during Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week, September 2008.  Audience – patients, sufferers, carers, families, health professionals.

I think a lot of you here tonight would have heard of or know about The Black Dog Project so I’ve decided to step out from behind the Black Dog tonight and talk (uncomfortably) about myself.   I’ll start by talking about what prompted me to change the focus of my talk.

On Monday I attended the launch of Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness Week. One of the speakers was Chris Harris (a Psychologist from Princess Margaret Children’s hospital). Chris said something very simple yet quite profound. It was along the lines of;

“ . . . eating disorders are an indication that something’s not right. “

It was the not right that made me sit a little taller in my seat. . . . his use of not right when he could have said something’s wrong.

Being diagnosed with having something wrong with you can feel much like being crushed into the carpet. I’ve been diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder.  It was so refreshing to hear someone flip the whole ‘disorder’ business on its head with a slight change of words. And words are really that powerful, that significant to who we are and how we feel—how we see and perceive ourselves and the world around us.

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August 15, 2006 - Male body image – Measuring up to GI Joe

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While the probability of finding a real woman with a Barbie figure has been calculated at less than 1 in 100,000, the odds of any man shaping up to GI Joe Extreme, Iron Man or Batman are non-existent.  Nutritionist, Matt O’Neil talks about it …    Click image for more

July 25, 2006 - Fat – a dirty word


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Fat – A Dirty Word?

February 2015 – currently updating this post.

There are people you meet who have a profound impact on your life —Michael Levine is one of them. This man needs to speak to the entire world. Recognized as an ‘eating disorders prevention expert’ he is much more. He is a ‘voice’, a window into the souls of women and girls through his sensitive articulation of the many issues that construct who we are. He is a conscience for men and boys, making this article an essential read for everyone.

Not only do his views have the potential for creating a better world but so too the experience of feeling his warmth; his depth of compassion and empathy; and most of all, his humility. The following article was written by Michael Levine for the Bronte Foundation newsletter ’Our Journey’ and Michael has kindly made it available to share on ‘Black Dog’. The article is presented in its entirety.




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July 12, 2006 - Emotional about food

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Getting into shape has more to do with what’s going on in our head, life and our toxic weight and food obsessed culture than diet and exercise.    Click image for more