Reverse Anorexia Nervosa Muscle Dysmorphia, or Bigorexia, Affects Many While Flying Under the Radar

April 4, 2013   •  Posted in: 

Edmonds, WA (Apr 4, 2013) – Though eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are well-known within mainstream society, there are far too few who know about a condition that is in effect the reverse anorexia nervosa. This condition is muscle dysmorphia, which is more informally referred to as bigorexia. According to Dr. Gregory Jantz, PhD., an internationally renowned eating disorder specialist, author and founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE, a residential treatment facility in Edmunds, Washington, those suffering from this condition become obsessed with the idea that they are not muscular enough. These delusions of being too small or too skinny can literally take over a person’s life, causing behavior that can lead to hazardous results.

Like anorexia or bulimia, those suffering from muscle dysmorphia suffer from a distorted body image. The overwhelming majority of those afflicted with this mental disorder are men, but it can appear in women as well. Risk factors may include family issues, perfectionism, stress and even the idealization of certain body types in mass culture. Symptoms may include:

  • The overwhelming belief that one is never muscular enough
  • Compulsively looking at oneself in the mirror
  • Maintaining a strict, high protein and low fat diet
  • Dreams of weight lifting and exercise
  • Distress at missing workouts or one of their many daily meals
  • Steroid use and excessive use of food supplements
  • Skipping work and social events and ignoring family obligations
  • Avoiding situations where one’s body might be exposed
  • Working out even when injured

“Muscle dysmorphia is an issue that affects hundreds of thousands of men and women, yet it is still a little understood condition,” says Dr. Jantz. “Results of this disorder can range from damaged muscles, joints and tendons to the affects of steroid use, depression and even suicide, highlighting the importance of shining a light on this issue.”

The Center for Counseling and Health Resources has used their patented whole-person approach to treatment to help patients deal with a variety of disorders ranging from anorexia and bulimia to PTSD, depression, anxiety and more. You may reach The Center by calling (888) 771-5166, or through their website at

Dr. Gregory Jantz

Pioneering Whole Person Care over thirty years ago, Dr. Gregory Jantz is an innovator in the treatment of mental health. He is a best-selling author of over 45 books, and a go-to media authority on behavioral health afflictions, appearing on CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, and CNN. Dr. Jantz leads a team of world-class, licensed, and...

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