What Is Bigorexia? Definition, Symptoms, Coping & More – Healthline

Posted: November 24, 2020 at 7:52 am

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Bigorexia, also known as muscle dysmorphia, is a health condition that can cause you to think constantly about building muscle on your body.

Bigorexia shares some of the same symptoms as other disorders like anorexia nervosa and is a type of body dysmorphic disorder.

Bigorexia appears to be on the rise, especially among young adults. Lets take a look at the symptoms, risk factors, coping strategies, and treatments available for muscle dysmorphia.

Bigorexia is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) as a body dysmorphic disorder that triggers a preoccupation with the idea that your body is too small or not muscular enough.

When you have bigorexia, you are fixated on the thought that there is something wrong with the way that your body looks. That can influence your behavior.

Muscle dysmorphia can look like many things, including:

When left untreated, bigorexia can escalate and lead to:

Other mental health conditions, such as disordered eating and obsessive-compulsive disorder, may also play a role in this condition.

There is still some debate in the medical community on whether bigorexia should be classified simply as a body dysmorphic disorder, or if it has more in common with eating disorders or addiction.

Bigorexia is primarily a psychological condition, though it can appear in physical ways.

Someone with bigorexia might experience some of the following symptoms:

Many symptoms of bigorexia may feel relatively normal. But when you are pushing your body to achieve fitness goals that always seem out of reach, there may be more going on than simply wanting to be in good shape.

Its not always clear who will experience bigorexia.

As the Mayo Clinic points out, certain life experiences and underlying psychological factors may make you more likely to have body dysmorphia.

Both women and men can have muscle dysmorphia. Negative experiences during childhood, such as bullying or teasing about your size, may play a role in having this condition.

A 2019 study of over 14,000 young people found that 22 percent of males and 5 percent of females reported having disordered eating patterns linked to working out and getting more muscular.

The same study also found that having other mental health conditions can put you at higher risk for bigorexia. People into bodybuilding, certain sports, or wrestling communities are also more likely to have this condition.

If you have bigorexia, you may be looking for ways to control your symptoms.

While there are some things that you can do at home, you may need to seek a professional mental health provider to treat your condition.

You can start treating muscle dysmorphia today by making changes, including:

You may also want to start your treatment by calling or starting an online chat with the National Eating Disorder Helpline.

You may also want to speak to a mental health professional about your symptoms, especially if muscle dysmorphia is impacting your relationships and causing you to consider self-harm.

These treatments may include:

If you have muscle dysmorphia along with other mental health conditions, your provider may recommend a medication like a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) to help stabilize your moods during treatment.

Living with bigorexia means finding coping strategies that work.

These strategies can help you with your symptoms and give you a sense of control:

Youre far from alone in living with bigorexia, whether you or someone you know experiences these symptoms.

Its now estimated that 1 in 50 people have some type of body dysmorphia. A documentary called Bigorexia has shed light on the way that muscle dysmorphia impacts the professional bodybuilding community.

Talking to a friend, family member, or someone else you trust about your experiences with bigorexia can be a helpful first step in taking control back of your life from an obsession with looking a certain way.

If you are having thoughts of self-harm because of bigorexia or any mental health condition, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 to speak with a counselor today.

Muscle dysmorphia is a real health condition, and symptoms can be difficult to manage.

More people are becoming aware of body dysmorphia and related problems since public figures, including Jane Fonda, Elton John, Princess Diana, Lady Gaga, Zayn Malik, and Taylor Swift, have grown honest about having body image concerns.

As more people speak out about living with this condition, the stigma and myths around it can dissipate.

There is help and support for you if you are living with muscle dysmorphia. A mental health provider can get you started on a treatment plan, and self-care changes can get your symptoms under control.

Read more from the original source:
What Is Bigorexia? Definition, Symptoms, Coping & More - Healthline

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November 24th, 2020 at 7:52 am

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