Saturday, April 10, 2010

'My' Body

The body image is the image of one's own body in the mind. Thus it has a characteristic of 'my' body. The body image is a kind of body awareness as my own body, not the others.

It is well known that the natural body image is disturbed or even destroyed in Anorexia, Bulimia, or Body dysmorphic disorder. But the nature of body image as one's own body is also altered in psychotic disorders such as Depersonalization or schizophrenia.

In case of depersonalization, patients often feel divorced from their own body. They can intellectually recognize that the body belong to themselves but they can't feel it as theirs. 'My body' is felt like others or a mere physical object. The sense of ownership of the body is disturbed.

In schizophrenia, some patients have delusions of being controlled by an external force. The delusions is sometimes accompanied with body sensations and feelings. They literally feel that they are moved by the force and can visualize it as images. The sense of motor agency is disturbed. Not only the cognition but also the sense of motor agency seems to be affected here.

Having one's own body, is not a matter of course!