Bigorexia Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Bigorexia Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention


Bigorexia, also known as muscle dysmorphia or reverse anorexia, is a form of body perception disorder. People with bigorexia believe that they are too small and fragile. Even if he is already very muscular, he will still believe that his muscles are not big enough.

Generally, bigorexia sufferers do intensive exercise or take steroids to enlarge their bodies. This disease can be experienced by anyone, both men and women. However, this disease is more common in men.

Bigorexia is actually part of body dysmorphic disorder, which is a mental disorder characterized by the sufferer’s belief that his body shape is not perfect. Because this is very disturbing to the mind, the sufferer will do all kinds of efforts to make his body shape as desired. However, even though they have made various efforts, people with body dysmorphic disorder are never satisfied with their body shape.


The exact cause of bigorexia is not known for certain. However, it is thought that bigorexia occurs due to many factors such as genetics and an imbalance of chemical neurotransmitters in the brain.

In addition, the violence experienced as a child also makes a person more susceptible to bigorexia.


To confirm the presence of bigorexia, doctors need to conduct in-depth interviews and observations of patients. Doctors who are competent to confirm and treat bigorexia are mental health specialists (psychiatrists).

The following questions can be used to detect the presence of bigorexia:

  1. Do you feel guilty if you don’t exercise?
  2. Are you always trying to eat protein and healthy fats every day to build muscle?
  3. Do you often compare your body shape with others?
  4. Are you always trying to be your best at the gym?

If all of the above questions are answered with yes, then the possibility of someone experiencing bigorexia is quite large.


People with bigorexia have thoughts that are focused on muscle problems and body rigidity. Even though his body was already muscular, he was still dissatisfied with his appearance.

Symptoms that can appear include:

  • Doing excessive or extreme sports activities

  • Obsessed with having a stocky body, even though his body is

  • already muscular enough

  • Often look in the mirror, or actually avoid the mirror

  • Excessive use of supplements

  • Feeling guilty if you don’t exercise


The main treatment for bigorexia is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This treatment is carried out by a psychiatrist. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, doctors will teach sufferers to identify inappropriate thoughts about their bodies, as well as teach how to manage these thoughts to be more objective and realistic.

This treatment requires good cooperation between the psychiatrist and the sufferer and requires regularity to do so. It takes several months of therapy to change the sufferer’s thinking to become more rational.

In addition, generally anti-depressant drugs are also needed to help overcome bigorexia. Studies have shown that the combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and taking antidepressant drugs is quite effective for controlling behavior and improving the sufferer’s thoughts and perceptions about their bodies.


Until now there has been no action that can be taken to prevent bigorexia.

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