Ever looked at yourself in the mirror, seen yourself in a shop window, or caught yourself in a reflection and not liked or recognised what was on the other side ? What if this became an obsession and was all you could think about?
Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a body image anxiety related disorder, where a person has a distorted view of their body image. Each year, it is estimated 1 in 4 people will experience mental health related problems
According to the NICE guidelines (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) who set the care expectations for health, public health and social care professionals across the U.K. Body Dysmorphic Disorder is characterised by time‑consuming behaviours such as mirror gazing, comparing particular features to those of others, skin picking and reassurance seeking.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder is often linked with other mental health conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, substance abuse, and eating disorders.
Body Dysmorphia in sports and especially men:
Generally speaking men in society find it harder to speak out about personal issues where feelings and body image are discussed. Therefore, making it harder for the problems to be detected and go unnoticed.
Body Dysmorphia is highly common in situations where high importance is placed on physical appearance, in particular with sport and more in those of aesthetic appreciation.
Athletes especially, may suffer Muscle Dysmorphia as they hold an emphasis of obsessive traits to getting bigger, losing body fat and having more muscle. These thoughts can be seen as ‘normal’ routine and behaviour, which are praised by coaches for the level of dedication and intense training. This results in Muscle Dysmorphia being normalised and going unnoticed as a problem.
Have a look at this article that looks at ‘Muscle dysmorphia: One in 10 men in gyms believed to have ‘bigorexia’