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Unformatted text preview: Module 3 --- Article 3 TREATMENT HIGHLIGHTS MUSCLE DYSMORPHIA
Preliminary findings suggest that muscle dysmorphia is a distinct diagnostic entity. It has been noted that body image problems among men with eating disorders usually differ from those of women in that these men see themselves as too small and want to gain muscle weight. This syndrome was initially referred to as “reverse anorexia nervosa.” However, because it appears to represent a form of body dysmorphic disorder, characterized by preoccupation with overall muscularity as opposed to preoccupation with the imagined ugliness of a specific body part, the authors propose to refer to the syndrome as “muscle dysmorphia.” In a preliminary study, 24 male weight lifters with muscle dysmorphia were compared to 30 male weight lifters without muscle dysmorphia. To ensure muscularity, only men who could bench press their body weight at least 10 consecutive times were eligible to participate. Participants were considered to have muscle dysmorphia if they reported: (1) spending more than 30 minutes a day preoccupied with thoughts of being too small or insufficiently muscular; (2) that this preoccupation affected their social functioning (ie, avoiding social situations for fear of looking too small or refusing to take shirt off in public); and (3) that they had given up enjoyable activities because of their preoccupation. Compared to weight lifters without muscle dysmorphia, weight lifters with muscle dysmorphia were more likely to have current or past major mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, eating-disordered behavior, steroid use, and body dissatisfaction. The authors conclude that “muscle dysmorphia appears to be a valid diagnostic entity.” They suggest that, like other forms of body dysmorphia, muscle dysmorphia may be an obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder. Patients may therefore benefit from treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacological treatments, which have already been shown to be effective for obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Olivardia R, Pope HG, & Hudson JI. Muscle dysmorphia in male weightlifters: A case-control study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 157:1291-1296, 2000. © Copyright 2011 MWK Publishing LLC; from The Complete Practitioner: Mental Health Applications (Vol. 3, No. 10 -- October 2000) For next article, go to next page. ...
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- Spring '09