Bigorexia and Depression

Gemma Dunstan, BBC News, reports on body dysmorphia in some young, muscular men which causes them to see themselves as small, leading to depression and steroid abuse. November 2020.

“Bigorexia” – the opposite of anorexia – sees people strive to be bigger.

Dr Rob Willson said even action figures “have changed to be bulkier”.

Chris, from south Wales, who has bigorexia and has taken steroids for about 17 years alongside weight training, said the pressure to be big was “really frightening”.

Body dysmorphia is a mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance which are often unnoticeable to others.

Dr Willson, a trustee of Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation, said: “We’re seeing a change in emphasis on men in the media from a lean physique, to focusing on muscles and six packs.”

Chris – not his real name – said: “When I look in the gym now, there are lots of 16 or 17 year olds on substances like steroids – it’s the go-to thing due to pressure from things like social media to be big. It’s really frightening.”

He is now worried about the effects on his long-term health now he has a family, but said when he was younger, he just wanted that bigger body.

“I think you try and try to chase something but over months of constant hard work, training and supplements – what you’re putting your body through – is it really worth it?”

The latest Be Real survey by the Mental Health Foundation showed 16 to 25-year-olds saw body image as a substantial concern and the third biggest challenge to them behind lack of job opportunities and failure to succeed at school, college or university.

Read more : https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-54733684

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