Body image and depression

Päivi Pylvänäinen, Anita Forsblom, Joona Muotka, Katriina Hyvönen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter presents research findings on body image in depression sufferers. Body image is here considered to consist of three elements: image properties, body-self, and body memory. In depressed patients, the body image has characteristics typical to the disorder, influencing how they relate to themselves and their environment. Typical to the body image of depression sufferers experience low energy, discomfort in the body during social interaction, and a tendency to distance oneself from sensing the body. While having this fragmented connection to their own bodies, patients tend to ruminate on how others perceive them. Compared with standard care, dance movement therapy group treatment is more effective in promoting change in body image, increasing positive experiences of one’s own body and mobility. Qualitative changes in body image also include increased neutrality, acceptance, and less preoccupation with other’s perception.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Neuroscience of Depression
Subtitle of host publicationGenetics, Cell Biology, Neurology, Behavior, and Diet
EditorsColin R. Martin, Vinood B. Patel, Rajkumar Rajendram, Lan-Anh Hunter, Victor R. Preedy
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-12-817935-2
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA3 Book chapter


  • Body image
  • Body memory
  • Dance movement therapy
  • Embodiment
  • Group therapy

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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