Women’s Health, “Body Dysmorphic Disorder”

In a recent blog post titled “Are All Women Crazy?”, I wrote about a young lady that I had liked, who was more narcissistic, more selfish, and more self-centered than any woman I had ever known, and it scared me.  I felt that something was wrong, and I wrote what I wrote.  It wasn’t until I was thinking more about her, about things that she had said, things that she does, what she thinks, what she wants to do, that I realized that she has Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

I became aware that she was working out every day for several hours.  In my mind it seemed excessive.  Her long workout sessions seemed to be the focal point of her day.  Her mood seemed to be dependent on how rigorous and strenuous her workout had been.  Her attire each day was not modest, and it accentuated some musculature that was very developed in her upper legs and buttox, but showed every other muscle to be over-trained and small, almost like an anorexic person.

I showed this young lady the Facebook page of a female body builder in Montana, who was the sister of someone I know.  This female body builder in Montana, in her event competition photos, had musculature that was nearly approaching the size and definition of male body builder musculature, combined with masculine facial features and structure.  I had already seen in this female body builder’s Facebook photos, that prior to her body building competitions, when her musculature was not highly developed at all, she did not have masculine facial features.  In other words, comparing the photos of this female body builder when she was highly muscular compared to when she was not highly muscular, the masculinity of her facial features showed what I believe to be indications of steroid, testosterone, or growth hormone use.

From when I was seventeen to twenty-seven years old, I spent at least three days a week, in probably ten different gyms.  I knew many different men and women that competed in bodybuilding and powerlifting.  I knew a lot about training and drug use.

When I showed the young lady that I had liked, the event competition photos of this female bodybuilder, who I believed showed evidence of steroid, testosterone, or growth hormone use, this young lady said that she did not think this bodybuilder was well defined enough.  She said that she wanted to compete also, but when she entered a competition, she would have much better definition and would be leaner.  I asked her if she meant that she was intending to do the fitness competitions.  She said no, the bodybuilding competitions.

At that time, I tried to talk to her about steroid use, about negative consequences of steroid use.  I talked to her about a bodybuilder that I knew who died when he was 27 from steroid use.  She was not completely agreeing with me, although she was agreeing with me some.  She talked some more about her plans to compete.

Why is she so interested in bodybuilding, she is so thin and petite?  She spends several hours every day in strenuous work outs, the only significant muscle development that she has is in her upper legs and buttox, every other muscle is over-trained and small.  You can’t over work the same muscles every day.  This is almost like someone who has anorexia nervosa.  I have met women in the gym before who had anorexia nervosa, they had to work out every day for several hours.  Wait a minute!  Oh my God!

There is an extremely clear and concise article on Wikipedia about Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  It is a psychological disorder similar to Anorexia Nervosa.  It is a psychological disorder that is also related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  A person who has Body Dysmorphic Disorder, believes that they have a physical body defect where none exists, or there is a very minor abnormality and the person spends several hours each day worrying about it, several hours each day trying to cover it up, or several hours every day trying to correct it.

A person with Anorexia Nervosa, may look in the mirror, and no matter how thin they become, they believe that they need to lose more weight.  There is a subset of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, called Muscle Dysmorphic, where when a person looks in the mirror, they always feel that they are not muscular enough.  There is an Obsessive Compulsive element to Muscle Dysmorphic, because the person feels that they must work out for several hours each day no matter what, and they become greatly distressed if they are unable to do so.  One of the other components of Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Muscle Dysmorphic, is that the person will become very angry if it is pointed out to them that there is nothing wrong with their body, and there is no need for them to work out for several hours each day.  Because of this, people with Body Dysmorphic Disorder try to hide the amount of time they spend worrying about how they look, and try to hide the amount of time they spend trying to correct how they look.  Ordinary people and sometimes even medical doctor psychiatrists mistake this behavior as mere vanity, not realizing that it is much more severe.

The behavior is identified as Body Dysmorphic Disorder when the person spends several hours each day worrying about a body defect which does not exist, spends several hours each day trying to cover up or remedy the supposed defect, feels very distressed when not able to spend several hours addressing the supposed defect, becomes angry when it is pointed out to them that they have no body defect, and their behavior is seen to interfere with work, education, relationships, or social interaction.

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