“Mirror, Mirror on the wall, I want to be the biggest of them all!” If you’re never satisfied with the size of your muscles, you may have a medical condition that is as serious as anorexia, called Bigorexia – bigger is definitely not better Villain's Story.
“What are you talking about?” – that’s what you’re thinking, right? It may sound like it’s made up by skinny people who struggle to build muscle, but this is no joke!
So what is bigorexia?
Muscle dysmorphia (more commonly known as Bigorexia) is an anxiety disorder that is essentially the opposite of anorexia – just as anorexics see themselves as always being too fat, bigorexics believe that they are puny weaklings, despite their 130cm chest and 50cm arms. This is a problem that can have devastating effects on your life.
It’s difficult to know immediately if someone has bigorexia because there are many people who work out, are fit and muscular because they want to live a healthier lifestyle, which is great. When your lifestyle revolves around becoming “the Hulk”, and you are never satisfied with your size or shape, you have a problem.
“’Body-image disorders like bigorexia are increasing in prevalence, and we are seeing the tip of an extensive iceberg.’ warns Dr John Morgan, a consultant psychiatrist at St Thomas’s Hospital[…]”
“It can lead to a lot of unhappiness,” adds Dr Morgan. “Some people will abandon their jobs to work out. They may drop girlfriends or neglect friends and loved ones in order to spend more time at the gym,” he adds.
When bigorexia and anabolic steroids collide
If left untreated, this condition can escalate to the point where you turn to steroids, testosterone, or other substances to blow up your muscles to unrealistic proportions.
Steroids actually increase the size of your heart, and put you at risk to suffer a heart attack – do a quick Google search to see how many professional bodybuilders have died at an early age from a heart attack.
There are also many other side-effects from steroid and hormone abuse, which include:
- Severe acne, oily skin and hair.
- Hair loss.
- Liver disease, such as liver tumours and cysts.
- Kidney disease.
“I need help, what can I do?”
You will need to make an appointment with a psychiatrist who will be able to help you understand why you are suffering from this disorder.
Because it is an anxiety condition, you will most likely be prescribed anti-anxiety medication to help control the problem.
The bottom line is that bigorexia is real. Those with anorexia empty their stomachs to try remain thin, you’re emptying your physically and socially, inch by inch. What good are huge arms when you can’t use them to hug a loved one?
Your body is a temple, not an experiment. We’re not saying that if you have a good physique, you have bigorexia, but there’s a fine line between training to live a healthy life and letting it turn into a destructive obsession.