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  1. #1
    RX MEMBER hifrommike65's Avatar
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    Question Is "Muscle Dysmorphia" Real or Not?

    http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/h...e13abce05.html

    "Muscle Dysmorphia" is listed in the current DSM (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V). Do you think it's a real mental disorder or not? I will chime in after others do.

  2. #2
    RX MEMBER hifrommike65's Avatar
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    http://www.intensemuscle.com/archive...p/t-36191.html

    This thread already covers some of these issues. The view about muscle dysmorphia being a real mental disorder seems to be split in both directions.

  3. #3
    OLYMPIAN baby muscle's Avatar
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    I don't think it's a mental disorder. It's, IMO pathologizing a lifestyle choice that many people
    with "process disorders" might be prone to and that's it. I actually am not
    seeing it at all in the DSM you're referring to. PM me the link to actual
    DSM code number if you can please? On this subject, I don't give this DSM 5 any credibility either because of the coercion involved in the signing of non disclosure agreements and lack of empirical data for so many of the diagnostics.
    Last edited by baby muscle; 03-22-2017 at 10:56 AM.

  4. #4
    RX MEMBER hifrommike65's Avatar
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    I believe it is mentioned in the broader category of "body dysmorphia" but I will look it up & let you know. I thought I remembered reading that it was included in the DSM revision, but could be wrong.

    Am still hoping for other views, if anyone cares about this issue.

    As I recall, Harrison Pope, lead author of the book THE ADONIS COMPLEX, which popularized this concept, once said that even considering use was grounds for having an Adonis Complex, his packaging of the idea of body dysmorphia for the talk show circuit.

  5. #5
    FREAK Swiper's Avatar
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    that was an interesting article. it describes me perfectly and I'm sure probably most bodybuilders and fitness people too. if you think you're big enough, proportioned well and think your body is perfect, it's game over. at least that's the way my brain thinks. it's an addiction and ocd with me i think. I admit I do have mental problems about working out, I just can't stop. I never get satisfied with my looks, ever. if I skip a day or miss a day I feel really guilty and not well. I enjoy working out and it gives me a natural high. maybe that's the part I'm really addicted to? I don't know.

    I know I'm not the only one who thinks or feels this way. I think most fitness people do. would be nice to hear other peoples thoughts and their take on this subject.

  6. #6
    Administrator Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swiper View Post
    that was an interesting article. it describes me perfectly and I'm sure probably most bodybuilders and fitness people too. if you think you're big enough, proportioned well and think your body is perfect, it's game over. at least that's the way my brain thinks. it's an addiction and ocd with me i think. I admit I do have mental problems about working out, I just can't stop. I never get satisfied with my looks, ever. if I skip a day or miss a day I feel really guilty and not well. I enjoy working out and it gives me a natural high. maybe that's the part I'm really addicted to? I don't know.

    I know I'm not the only one who thinks or feels this way. I think most fitness people do. would be nice to hear other peoples thoughts and their take on this subject.
    You're not alone in this Swiper. I think it's the natural high aspect and feel-good endorphins along with not satisfied with how you look. However, as I get older, now 60, it's like a never ending battle to deal with the downhill spiral.

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    OLYMPIAN baby muscle's Avatar
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    I think the key here is "how much time is a person suffering"? Is it over these perceived inadequacies? I still believe it's merely another case of obsessive compulsive disorder/process disordered thinking that doesn't need a separate mental disorder category. The individual might weigh food repetitively (multiple times in a row for instance ) as opposed to "normal pre contest prep" stuff and agonize over that half ounce.

    Heres a a quote from the article:

    "Some people work out because they feel good and they like to take care of their body," Ferrell said. "But, someone suffering from the disorder is very, very stressed and nervous if they don't start to change their body shape. Their obsession and compulsion to change their body makes it not uncommon for them to spend three to eight hours a day working out or dieting. Some people even have several surgeries to change the shape of their body."
    Last edited by baby muscle; 03-23-2017 at 06:58 AM.

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    OLYMPIAN baby muscle's Avatar
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    Harrison Popes theories and books are all stemming from the idea that this "mental disorder" is caused by unrealistic images in the media. He's also the leading proponent of "roid rage" theories. If John Romano hasn't debunked most of his theories by now, I'm sure he could in a better written and more succinct post than I ever could.

  9. #9
    Managing Dir., Rx Muscle Forums Curt James's Avatar
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    DSM included/approved or not, it's (or this label is) definitely a thing that a certain number will never be happy with the way they look.

    I can't truly believe he feels that way, but even Arnold Schwarzenegger was quoted as saying he thought he looked like sh!t. O.o

    Schwarzenegger talked the lifelong insecurities he's had about his body in a new interview with Cigar Aficionado. "When I look in the mirror, I throw up," he said about his aging body, saying that his confidence issues have increased as he grows older.

    From http://www.papermag.com/arnold-schwa...159248069.html

  10. #10
    MUSCLEHEAD DBowden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    You're not alone in this Swiper. I think it's the natural high aspect and feel-good endorphins along with not satisfied with how you look. However, as I get older, now 60, it's like a never ending battle to deal with the downhill spiral.
    Same here as to age.
    My mind writes checks my body can't cash anymore due to aging.

  11. #11
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    I can understand somebody who is competing being focused/obsessed on the size and the standard needed to face the competition but that is more an athletic endeavor and a will to win. Take away the competitive aspect of doing bodybuilding shows and it gets much harder to stay focused on being big.

    My limited understanding is anorexia and muscle dysmorphia is a reaction to anxiety probably linked to self-esteem issues.

    Lots of people go to the gym so they can look big and tough and to shield themselves from the perceived danger in the world. There is a tough guy act that goes with a lot weight trainers, it normally always looks hollow if you scrape away the surface.

    Sam Fussell talks about wanting to be big so nobody attacks him and Dorian describes guys wanting to build themselves up with size and strength to give themselves confidence. I think these are the two main drivers for muscle dysmorphia. Of course it always does go back to self-esteem.

    Me I couldn't give a shit what anybody thinks about me but I have always been a willful, independent child.

  12. #12
    RX MEMBER hifrommike65's Avatar
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    Thanks for chiming in, everyone. Here is my take on the issue. I'm not saying I'm right. I'm just saying this is my current thinking on this issue.

    Muscle dysmorphia is NOT real. It is anti-bodybuilding put in a new bottle. The prejudice against bodybuilding goes back a long way, & this repackaging does not change its basis, which is a dislike of differences in body shape & appearance.

    The connection to use is opportune. The persons who have promoted the view that use is grounds for mental disorder do not like bodybuilders & are using anything they can against it. By their definitions of "Adonis complex" or whatever you want to call it, virtually every committed competetion bodybuilder fits the description of body dysmorphia. Bullshit.

    I agree that you can work out for the wrong reasons. I am concerned about the individuals who work out for the right reasons, but still get classified as body dysmorphic because of the prejudice against bodybuilding. I'm sorry, use in itself is NOT grounds for a mental disorder.

    I would like to see a distinction made between a strong commitment to a particular enterprise, in this case working out, & OCD. I go back to what Dave Pulcinella has said: "I eat the way I do, I train the way I do, to look a certain way. That to me is bodybuilding." What is wrong with that?

  13. #13
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    People are intimidated by big musclely men. Some big muscely men like this.

    Otherwise when I look at some of the preening that goes on with men and implants, synthol, plastic surgery and the body beautiful stuff I do think that is driven by a person lacking in self confidence. Wanting to be big and strong is in our DNA. Wanting to look like an airbrushed photo of a male fitness model is something much more superficial and indicates to me a person is lacking in something.

  14. #14
    Moderator Mobster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hifrommike65 View Post
    Thanks for chiming in, everyone. Here is my take on the issue. I'm not saying I'm right. I'm just saying this is my current thinking on this issue.

    Muscle dysmorphia is NOT real. It is anti-bodybuilding put in a new bottle. The prejudice against bodybuilding goes back a long way, & this repackaging does not change its basis, which is a dislike of differences in body shape & appearance.

    The connection to use is opportune. The persons who have promoted the view that use is grounds for mental disorder do not like bodybuilders & are using anything they can against it. By their definitions of "Adonis complex" or whatever you want to call it, virtually every committed competetion bodybuilder fits the description of body dysmorphia. Bullshit.

    I agree that you can work out for the wrong reasons. I am concerned about the individuals who work out for the right reasons, but still get classified as body dysmorphic because of the prejudice against bodybuilding. I'm sorry, use in itself is NOT grounds for a mental disorder.

    I would like to see a distinction made between a strong commitment to a particular enterprise, in this case working out, & OCD. I go back to what Dave Pulcinella has said: "I eat the way I do, I train the way I do, to look a certain way. That to me is bodybuilding." What is wrong with that?
    It is real but for very, very few. I do agree with your opportune comment. It is,in essence, a stick to beat us with. The vast majority of us who train do not have any form of dismorphia. I compete in strength events, I do well in my chosen field and they give me trophies for winning. I like that sh*t.

    If anyone that lifts is in someway dismorphic then so is a guy that likes to place chess a lot. Or poker. Or golf. Or whatever. We can't all be mentally fucked in some way. So those that 'don't lift' need an excuse to not lift. Their excuse, one of many, is top point at those that do and say we've got something wrong with us.

    I've seen the odd video of some barely better than average fella who happens to train acting in an OCD kinda way and labeled (by themselves or others) as 'suffering'. They are a TINY percentage. And NONE of them get to use the disabled spaces at the supermarkets just yet.
    06, 08, 09 and now 2010 British (4x) and 2008/2010 European Grip Champion (2x)

  15. #15
    RX MEMBER Prudence's Avatar
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    I think it's a real thing. For me it is anyway. But I'm just a little different than most of you. I'm bisexual. You think it's hard getting a girl because you don't have that 'perfect' body? Try being mostly into guys. Gay men are brutal when it comes to judging a guys looks.
    The gym is the ONLY way to even stay in the game.
    So for me..I go to the gym so I can just barely pass as attractive.
    If you dont have a 12 inch dick, or a ton of cash, your almost done.
    Life is sooo hard.

    But I'm kinda okay with the whole body issue thing.
    The better I get in shape--the easier it is for me to move one level UP above the guy that does not lift.
    I've been on Tren/Test on and off for about four years. Why? I have no intention on competing. I've done three cycles of DNP. Why? I'm not making any money on the way my body looks.
    I do it because it attracts people.
    How vain can one person be?
    Pretty freaking vain as evidenced by me.

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