Muscle dysmorphia: Muscle dysmorphia is a newly diagnosed
disorder characterized by a prolonged period of almost continuous
eating, resulting in hypertrophy of the limbs and interrupted by
bodybuilding training in the gym. Those who suffer from muscle
dysmorphia always see their body as being too small, no matter how
much weight they can, or how large their muscles become. The
sufferer lives in a constant fear of being too small.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) takes on many shapes and can
be described as extremely negative distortions in how people think
they look. Both men and women are affected equally by the disorder,
but in terms of muscle dysmorphia or "bigorexia" men are affected
more than women. BDD is a fixation on supposed flaws & defects,
which can cause increased anxiety. People with the disorder will
check themselves in a mirror compulsively or in some cases do the
opposite by trying to avoid their image entirely. Everything seems
to revolve around their grotesque "flaws", called "ideas of
reference". People with the disorder believe everything bad is due
to their "defect". Suffering and impairment is profound. Are they
delusional? Those with the disorder believe their flaws are real
and do not know that their perception is irrational.
Causes and Treatments
Sometimes co-occurs with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Might BDD and OCD be related? Very likely. Do the same drugs help?
For OCD - Clomipramine does help. Plain old Anti-depressants are
not as effective. Exposure and response prevention techniques help.
Cosmetic surgery is not the answer.
Muscle dysmorphic disorder is a very real form of BDD and must be
treated if signs and symptoms are noticed:
Sometimes the men with the
disorder workout to the point where they will sustain permanent
muscle damage. Their social lives and work lives can be
significantly affected by the disorder. As mentioned above,
treatment should be saught when symptoms are noticed.
- Working out
- Checking Constantly for
Gains in Mass
- Complaining that they are
- Fixation on Perfect
Nutrition to Gain Mass
- Constantly Thinking /
Talking About Bodybuilding
- Social / Work Related
- Anxiety When Away From
- Gym is #1 Priority in
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