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What You Should Know About Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder

What You Should Know About Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder

Men’s Health magazine used the month of May to bring awareness to mental health among men. According to the magazine, talking about the issues men have suffered from has been avoided for long enough and finally needs some well-deserved attention. In their series, Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, they wanted to build a platform to bring light to some serious conditions that involve how eating disorders affect males just as widely as females.

One of the conditions that they touch on in their series is Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder (MDD) that is described as a combination of both body dysmorphia and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). While this disorder affects mostly men, women also suffer from this condition as well. Commonly referred to as the opposite of anorexia, a person with MDD will develop a pathological preoccupation that makes them think they are smaller than what they really are.

Instead of keeping up with their responsibilities to their family, work, or school, they become engrossed with working out to gain bigger muscles. The misconception that they face daily within themselves is that they are not big enough and need to work harder to achieve the size they desire. The irony is that most people who have MDD are usually not small at all and have well-defined muscles throughout their body.

Someone who suffers from Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder will tend to take bigger risks to gain the muscle that they think they are missing. Continuing to work out when they know they are injured is one way to keep an individual from healing properly. Some will take steroids to build more muscles now but can cause damage to their body later by not being able to produce testosterone naturally any longer. Often this will happen to someone who is young enough to continue creating natural testosterone although that right gets stripped away with the use of illegal steroids.

Dysmorphia takes a toll on a person’s health because they are unable to truly see what they look like and are trying to go to any lengths to get the body they envision. An individual with MDD perceives a completely different image than what others around them are actually looking at. With a distorted view of their body, OCD behavior will kick in to compensate for their “lack of muscles” with excessive exercise and drugs.   

The point of the Men’s Health campaign is to show that improvement to the body can be misdirected. Improvement needs to take place in the mind first to gain a better self-image starting on the inside. #HowIGotHelp is aimed at guiding men to take the first step in talking about what happened to them while keeping their machismo intact.

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is a 5-week extensive treatment program that can help someone who struggles from drugs and alcohol to get sober. Our 12-Step aspects and holistic therapy combined can show our clients how to adorn their soul in recovery.

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