Professional models are the envy of many people. They are some of the most aesthetically beautiful people on the planet, but their beauty can come at a high cost. Professional modeling is a career that comes with very high expectations on physical standards, performance abilities and schedules. There is no leniency for weight gain, damaged hair or flawed skin. Sometimes the pressure that falls on professional models proves to be too much, and they are overtaken by disorders and addictions in response. Addiction and disorder is a tragedy when it strikes anyone, and professional models are no exception.
Eating disorders are perhaps the dysfunctional behavior that models are most known for. Common eating disorders among professional models include anorexia – denying one’s self food to the point of malnutrition, bulimia – an unhealthy cycle of intentional starvation, binge eating, then purging, and binge eating disorder – the tendency to severely overeat as a reaction to stress. Eating disorders take people’s lives every day and they require the counseling of mental health professionals who specialize in eating disorders to heal.
Professional models also frequently fall victim to substance addictions, such as addictions to prescription medications, street drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. The worrisome attraction to drugs in the world of professional modeling is the weight loss effects of some of them, including crack, heroine and a variety of prescription drugs. Alcohol and cigarettes are not as common a substance of addiction to models because of how they impact the physical appearance, but some professional models turn to them for stress relief and develop a dependency. Professional models in this circumstance need to seek treatment for their addiction, such as drug addiction treatment in BC or in the United States.
And lastly, professional models can become victims of behavioral addictions as well. Models are sometimes known to develop compulsions toward exercising, grooming or shopping. Not many people know that exercising can be a legitimate addiction, but many people become obsessive over exercise to the point that they make their bodies unhealthy. Grooming and shopping turn into obsessive behaviors as well and begin to interfere with the individual’s life.
Professional modeling is an exciting and rewarding career for the few who qualify for it, but it is not without its downsides. The world of professional modeling is fraught with sky high expectations, hard work and focus. The pressure can become so great on professional models that they end up experimenting with addictive tendencies in an attempt to cope with the hardships of their profession. Sometimes professional models steer away from substance abuse problems to keep their appearance at its peak, but instead will turn toward process addictions that involve obsessively completing a certain set of actions. Professional model behavior addictions may include excessive exercising, grooming or shopping.
If a model chooses to take up exercising to deal with stress, but they do not have any other mental health coping mechanisms, they are in danger of developing an exercising addiction. This may seem counter-intuitive, but exercise addictions are legitimate, documented addictions. They occur when a person exercises so obsessively that it has a negative impact on their life. If they make no time for personal relationships or other hobbies and their body fat level is so low that they are unhealthy, they are losing themselves to an exercise addiction.
Grooming addictions occur when a person’s grooming rituals become obsessive and neurotic, for example when someone spends a ridiculous amount of time brushing their hair or hours at a time putting on make up. Grooming addictions are frequently the result of stress. If a person feels out of control in an area of their life, they may begin to groom obsessively because it is something they can control entirely. This restores their sense of power, but when it begins to get in the way of other life responsibilities, it has gone too far.
And lastly, professional models are also prone to shopping addictions. Enthusiasm for fashion shopping in professional models is to be expected, as it is tied to their careers. But when a professional model is spending beyond their means on shopping and their personal space is completely taken up by all the possessions they are buying, it is possible that they need an intervention.
The life of a professional model can be a stressful one, and professional models are known to struggle mentally with the pressures that fall on them. Addiction is not an uncommon thing among professional models, and many of them get caught up in substance abuse and addiction in an attempt to cope. However, most responsible adults know that addiction is not a sustainable way of coping with life stress because it ultimately ends up putting more strain on a person than it does provide them with relief. Some of the more commonly abused substances in the world of professional modeling are prescription medication, street drugs and food.
Prescription medications become addictive to models for several reasons. One reason is because some of them have the ability to manage a person’s weight, which is very desirable in the eyes of a model. Another reason is because they can have anxiety reducing effects or sleep inducing effects. A model’s career can be stressful, and mood controlling medications often become a weakness of theirs.
Street drugs off the black market can also have a tempting lure to professional models. Drugs like cocaine and opiates have weight loss effects on many people and are abused for that purpose. Some professional models have a taste for the party lifestyle, which cocaine and ecstasy become a favorite for. Cocaine also gives a burst of energy that an overworked model will tend to abuse.
And lastly, it may not seem logical that models would develop a food addiction because weight management is so critical to their careers, but food addictions are more complicated than many people believe. A person can have a food addiction without being overweight. Obsessive behavior toward food, regardless of what type of food or the size of the portions, can be considered an addiction.
If you or someone you know is a professional model struggling with substance abuse, it is important to receive help before the habit takes a heavy toll. Contact an addiction and substance abuse specialist today to learn about your treatment options.
Professional models have a great deal of pressure and expectations on their shoulders, and not all of them cope in healthy ways. Some give in to addictions and substance abuse, while others develop eating disorders due to low self image. Eating disorders are perhaps the most commonly known mental condition that professional models struggle with because the weight requirements in their profession are so stringent. Some of the more common eating disorders that professional models struggle with are anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder.
Anorexia is a condition that involves withholding food. A person with anorexia denies themselves essential calories in order to avoid weight gain. Anorexia develops for a number of reasons that result in the individual always feeling too overweight. It is not hard to imagine why professional models are prone to this condition. Designers, managers, agents and photographers can be very critical of a professional model’s figure to the point that they are struggling mentally because of it.
Bulimia is another type of eating disorder in which the individual purges what they eat. Anything more than a few bites of light food will send them straight to the bathroom to throw up. A person with bulimia will often try to keep up the appearance of being healthy by eating large quantities and portions, but as soon as no one is around they will take the first opportunity they can to vomit the food back up. This disorder is also caused by a low perception of one’s weight.
Binge eating disorder is a condition that is characterized by periods of compulsive overeating. Unlike bulimia, binge eating disorder does not involve purging. Instead, a person may go for long periods eating small amounts, but when something triggers their condition, such as a stressful life event, they attempt to cope with maniacal overeating. Their binge habit is like a security blanket and when they cannot deal with the world, they gorge themselves with food to hide from it. Binge eating disorders occur in many people who had food withheld from them as children.