Symptoms and Signs of Bigorexia / Muscle Dysmorphia

People suffering from bigorexia are constantly worrying about their muscle size and spend excessive time exercising, even if they are already muscular.

Most cases of bigorexia are under diagnosed or go un-noticed because in today’s society, muscular men or women are admired. However, it is necessary to diagnose individuals exhibiting symptoms of bigorexia, as this disorder can result in severe depression and significantly impair quality of life.

The most common symptoms and signs of bigorexia include-

  • Constant worry about muscle size, even if the person is already muscular
  • Spending excessive amount of time in exercising especially weight lifting and other muscle building exercises. The person exercises even when injured or in pain and may avoid social events in order to exercise. He suffers from extreme anxiety or distress if a workout is missed.
Bigorexia Weight Lifting
  • Constant viewing of oneself in the mirror to check out muscle growth
  • Comparing oneself to other muscular individuals
  • Following extreme diets to increase the muscle mass
  • Abusing anabolic steroids and other supplements in an attempt to promote muscular growth


  1. James L, Edward S, Kimberly G. Recognition and Treatment of Muscle Dysmorphia and Related Body Image Disorders. J AthlTrain 2005; 40(4):352-359.
  2. Courtney P, Harrison P, William M, Christina F, Roberto O, Katharine P. Clinical features of muscle dysmorphia among males with body dysmorphic disorder. Body Image 2005; 2(4):395-400.
  3. What is Muscle Dysmorphia, Bigorexia, Reverse Anorexia? - ( -dysmorphic-disorder/what-is-muscle-dysmorphia-bigorexia -reverse-anorexia/)

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