Subjective aspects of body image in women with fibromyalgia
Introduction: Body image refers to the figuration of the body in the mind, has a strong experiential component, and is permeated by subjective aspects.
Objective: To analyze the subjective aspects of body image in women with fibromyalgia.
Methods: This was an observational cross-sectional study. Participants were 16 women with a confirmed diagnosis for at least six months. The instrument used was the Human Figure Drawing (HFD), a projective technique for the exclusive use
of psychologists, following the procedures established in the specialized literature. The examination of the material was carried out independently by two expert evaluators, who used
meaning attribution criteria established in classic publications in psychological evaluation.
Results: The following indicators in the participants’ drawings were highlighted: medium thickness and continuous line, small size, location in the fourth quadrant, presence of reinforcements and representations of joints, figures with static body posture, and simplified facial features. These indicators were interpreted as signs suggestive of passivity, insecurity, inhibition, feeling of inferiority, conflicts regarding difficulties in contact, propensity to take refuge in fantasy, idealization, regression, and attempts at omnipotent control, psychic rigidity, and devitalization. Therefore, the body image of the participants seemed to be
determined by mental representations that include the body, but are not restricted to their biological dimensions or the physical limitations resulting from the symptomatic manifestations of
Conclusion: The participants’ body image had an inherently negative value since it was subjectively shaped by internalized and unconscious unfavorable concepts about themselves.
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