Muscle Dysmorphia is a type of BDD that causes an individual to see themselves as smaller or ‘less muscly’ than they are.
Muscle Dysmorphia can lead to excessive weightlifting, overtraining even when injured, restrictive diets, disordered eating, and often steroid abuse. It can often cause an individual to prioritise working out over other commitments such as relationships, work or family life. It affects men more than women and causes significant distress, with devastating consequences on someone’s life.
As explained in the video, who spoke with Justin Baldoni, Noah Neiman & our volunteer George Mycock, many men suffering from this will begin to tie their masculinity to how they look and experience a compulsive need to ‘be big’.
Noah explains that even as a fitness professional “even I was self-conscious. I was at home feeling I should have done some more sit ups, I felt that I didn’t look good.”
As a form of BDD, the pre-occupation with muscle size and shape causes those suffering to carry out obsessive and compulsive behaviours in the hope of achieving a particular, often very unachievable body shape. Often, individuals experiencing MDD look entirely normal or are already very muscular.
“The more you focus in on it, the more you find flaws… the more distorted your perception becomes.”
As the speakers in the video disclose, MDD often causes suicidal ideation, attempts and completion.
If you or someone you know is struggling with these symptoms, please reach out to our helpline on firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more on our Muscle Dysmorphia information page.