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Revisiting the Diagnostic Criteria for Muscle Dysmorphia

Murray, Stuart B. PhD1; Baghurst, Timothy PhD2

Strength & Conditioning Journal:
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0b013e3182723f24
Article
Abstract

SUMMARY: MUSCLE DYSMORPHIA (MD) IS A PSYCHIATRIC CONDITION CHARACTERIZED BY THE EXTREME PURSUIT OF MUSCULARITY AND SIMULTANEOUS REDUCTION IN BODY FAT. ALTHOUGH CURRENT DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA EFFECTIVELY ILLUSTRATE THE BEHAVIORS INVOLVED IN THE PURSUIT OF GREATER LEAN MUSCULARITY, CLINICAL UTILITY IS LIMITED BY THE LACK OF A CLEAR DELINEATION CONCERNING THE DEGREE TO WHICH THESE CHARACTERISTICS ARE PRESENT IN PATHOLOGICAL PRESENTATIONS. THIS ALLOWS FOR CONSIDERABLE VARIATION IN THE POTENTIAL SCOPE OF THOSE DIAGNOSED WITH MD, AND THE POSSIBLE INCLUSION OF NONPATHOLOGICAL MUSCLE-BUILDING ENDEAVORS. THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE IS TO REVIEW THE EFFICACY OF DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN PATHOLOGICAL AND NONPATHOLOGICAL MUSCLE ENHANCING ENDEAVORS.

Author Information

1The Redleaf Practice, Wahroonga, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

2Department of Health and Human Performance, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Stuart B. Murray is a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of eating disorders and disorders of body image.

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Timothy Baghurst is an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at Oklahoma State University.

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© 2013 National Strength and Conditioning Association