Muscle Dysmorphia

This is also known as Bigorexia and Megorexia.


There has been an increase in this disorder over recent years. It mostly affect men but not exclusively. People become obsessed with becoming leaner and more muscular. It becomes a continuos race to get bigger while never feeling they are good enough. This can lead to high levels of distress and changes in behaviuor. People spend all their time at the gym and avoid social events, partly through having no time but also due to the percieved negative judgment from others.It may even cause them to lose their job.


It is common for people to continue training through injury rather than reduce their fitness schedule. Unable to achieve their perfect body image, the MD bodybuilder may spend huge amounts of money on nutritional supplements and may eventually start to use anabolic steroids. These drugs produce rapid increases in lean muscle mass with few immediate side effects. However, prolonged use is associated with raised cholesterol, prostate enlargement, male-pattern baldness, acne, gynaecomastia and testicular atrophy. They are known to cause paranoia leading to an increased fear of judgement. Withdrawal from a cycle of steroids can lead to depression and has been associated with suicide


Diagnosing Muscle Dysmorphia


Pre-occupation with the idea that one’s body is too small and not muscular enough.

Typical behaviours include long hours of lifting weights and excessively strict diets
People will show at least two of the following behaviours


(1) The individual frequently gives up important social, occupational or recreational activities because of a compulsive need to maintain his or her workout and diet schedule.
(2) The individual avoids situations where his or her body is exposed to others, or endures such situations only with marked distress or intense anxiety.
(3) The pre-occupation about the inadequacy of body size or musculature causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.
(4) The individual continues to work out, diet or use performance-enhancing substances despite knowledge of adverse physical or psychological consequences.


The primary focus of the pre-occupation and behaviours is on being small or inadequately muscular, as distinguished from fear of being fat as in anorexia nervosa, or a primary pre-occupation only with other aspects of appearance as in other forms of body dysmorphic disorder.


If you want help with overcoming Muscle Dysmorphia then please contact us to discuss your problems or to book an assessment - 0161 8345888



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