Body image concerns are becoming more common, day by day, in young men. With this, it can impact your mental health with ease. Additionally, according to an estimate, one in ten young men, who go to the gym, can result in a mental health condition called muscle dysmorphia, due to this body image concerns.
This muscle dysmorphia is sometimes called Bigorexia, Megarexia, or reverse Anorexia. It is a state in which one has a delusional or exaggerated belief. This belief is that one’s own body is too small, too skinny, insufficiently muscular, or insufficiently lean. And, these beliefs are still in mind despite having an even better body.
Muscle dysmorphia affects mostly males. Most interestingly, the victims of this disease are those who are sportsmen. It is because, in sports, body weight and size are competitive factors and, the main aim of the sportsmen is to build the best body and weight. So, this is the place where this disease starts taking action.
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Muscle dysmorphia is quite complex to diagnose. This is because, despite awareness, a person experiencing muscle dysmorphia looks healthy and good. However, there are some self-reported surveys through which physicians diagnose patients. In this, the physician checks several things such as the desire for big muscles and body image issues, etc.
Aside from this, diagnosis also relies on patients meeting a specific set of criteria, for example, having a preoccupation with being lean and muscular, excess weight lifting, and dieting. So, in this way, the physician guesses and diagnoses this disease. But it is a little complex and not an efficient method.
The last method that most experts agree with people having muscle dysmorphia is to check the steroid use. In this method, the physician checks whether the person makes use of steroids or not. It is because, in general, people with dysmorphia tend to engage with steroids to make their muscles faster.
Muscle Dysmorphia Symptoms
There are no such symptoms of muscle dysmorphia. But, some lighter symptoms are present with which one can guess to have this disease. The first important symptom is the intense fear of losing weight and withering away. Having muscle dysmorphia, a person fears losing weight.
Due to this, he intends to do exercises and diet that are other symptoms of this disease. It is because he wants to bulk-up with a lot of exercises and diet. Consequently, he neglects other activities while doing exercise, which is another symptom. So, in this way, one gradually comes to know that he might have muscle dysmorphia.
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In muscle dysmorphia, many risk factors have been found, recently. Persons manifesting in muscle dysmorphia are more likely to have experienced or observed traumatic events. Other risk factors are related to the brain. In this, the chance of anxiety, headache, loneliness, and Sociopsychological traits increases.
Due to this, the person gets detached from society that can be very dangerous for himself. And you will be shocked to know that there were also some cases of suicide due to his disease.
Treatment For Muscle Dysmorphia
As it is a mental health problem, so that’s why there are several ways to treat it. Another reason is that it has many similarities with eating disorders. That’s why the treatment becomes difficult. Moreover, scientific treatment is also limited. The treatment of this disease is, in general. The patient passes through family-based therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and then pharmacotherapy. This way, the patient gets treated, and there is a maximum chance of recovery.
All in all, it is a common disease found in young men. It is like a desire for more weight and body. Persons that are sportsmen are likely to be the victims. However, diagnoses and treatments are also available. Aside from this, some risk factors are also present.