Each individual holds an idealized mental picture of his or her physical self; he or she uses this image to measure concepts related to body image. Once an individual's percepts or concepts of this body image are altered, emotional, perceptual and psychosocial reactions can result.
Psychosocial well-being often is affected by such factors as anxiety and depression, concerns with self-esteem, and satisfaction with life. In the general population, a person's positive or negative feelings toward his or her body have been found to affect his or her well-being.
Living in a society of mostly ablebodied persons, individuals who have disabilities must contend with comparing the appearance of their bodies and functional capabilities to those of others around them. Mental health practitioners often see physical deviation from the norm ar central to people's behavior and personality.
The following article strives to provide prosthetists and orthotists with insight into the relationship between body image and psychosocial well-being.
© 1997 American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists