I’ve spoken about this a lot, muscle dysmorphia is a huge problem in the bodybuilding community. And unfortunately, there’s no awareness nor really anybody speaking out about it. I’m trying to change that, so let’s get started with a simple muscle dysmorphia test to see if you might be at risk for having muscle dysmorphia.
And please. I get the entire sport is about being ‘muscular and manly’ but, we need to be reaching out to our brothers and sisters of lifting. A lot of them suffer from muscle dysmorphia deep down and we need to support each other and lift each other up. If you think someone is suffering from muscle dysmorphia, please get them the proper help or even just talk to them a bit yourself and help them express it.
Quick Muscle Dysmorphia Test
Here is a quick muscle dysmorphia test to help you see if you may be suffering from the condition. The test is not designed to diagnose you or rule out the condition, but to give you more information and learn where you may fall on the spectrum.
Regardless of your results, if you believe you are suffering from muscular dysmorphia- I always recommend following up with your primary care physician.
In bodybuilding, there is this huge ‘masculinity’ thing that means you can’t show weakness.
Screw them. I hate it. It’s okay to not be okay. I am a man too, and I have problems too, everybody does. Trust me on this, go reach out for help.
If anybody harasses you for it, it’s likely because they’re insecure themselves. And many of them have mental problems they won’t talk about either.
The truth is, this sport attracts a lot of people that have mental problems in regards to their body image. It’s natural, but that doesn’t mean we have to live with it every day and let it haunt us.
There are resources to help you get better and beat this horrible condition!
What Is Muscle Dysmorphia?
Now that we’ve completed the muscular dysmorphia test, let’s actually talk about what muscle dysmorphia is.
Muscular dysmorphia/muscle dysmorphia is basically a disorder about having a negative body image from ‘not being big enough’ or thinking you’re ‘too small’.
This is an incredibly common thing for bodybuilders to suffer from. Bodybuilders are constantly surrounded by other muscular people that have incredible physiques as well.
Unfortunately, this means you always feel like you are the smallest in the room, or you aren’t as good as anybody else in the room.
Even if someone who has never lifted a day in their life sees you as “thor” or “the hulk”, you see yourself as somebody who has never done anything right in the weight lifting community.
What Does ‘Bigorexia’ Mean?
So, a term to referenced muscular dysmorphia/muscle dysmorphia has circulated around the internet called ‘bigorexia’.
Personally, I like the name because it kind of describes the disorder a little better, but I HATE the way the name almost makes it sound like a joke.
The term ‘bigorexia’ is just a nick name for muscular dysmorphia/muscle dysmorphia.
Most people won’t make fun of people with anorexia or other eating disorders, but most will actually make fun of muscular dysmorphia because they think ‘it can’t exist’. There’s no way someone that big could actually be self-conscious!!! -bad people
The truth is, ‘bigorexia’ or muscular dysmorphia can really affect just about anybody.
Even if you haven’t been lifting for 10 years or even ‘look big’ (red flag), I still recommend taking the muscular dysmorphia test referenced above.
Get Help After Taking The Muscle Dysmorphia Test
If you took the muscle dysmorphia test and are seeking help (you don’t need to take the test) here are some great resources that can help you out.
Find a support group!
- As recognition for the condition rises, many support groups have opened up across the world. Search up in your favorite search engine a support group for BDD/Muscular Dysmorphia and attend the next meeting.
Join an online support group.
- Find an online support group you can reach out to.
Reach out to other bodybuilders.
- Many bodybuilders are closed off about muscle dysmorphia, and the truth is, if we all start talking about it, we can all work together to put an end to it.
Read ‘Understanding Body Dysmorphic Disorder by Katharine A. Phillips’
- Many people have rated this book good for its target audience, those suffering from BDD/muscle dysmorphia. This means it wasn’t a book intended for physicians/clinicians, but victims to understand it better and manage it better.
Reach Out To Your Primary Care Physician and Get a Referral
- Your primary care physician knows you best. You should set up an appointment, sit down and talk with them, and they can give you a referral to a psychiatrist, psychologist, and other doctors that are specialized in BDD/muscle dysmorphia and find a solution for you!
Conclusion of The Muscle Dysmorphia Test
The muscle dysmorphia test wasn’t designed to give a diagnosis or anything, just some general guidance in where to go.
If you even searched this up and think you may have it, I see that as enough of a warning sign that you should see your primary care physician and talk to them! They can do a lot for you.
And no, you’re not any less of a bodybuilder for seeking help. Screw that stigma, let’s get rid of it.
Good luck, and I hope you heal.