eCite Digital Repository

Muscle dysmorphia: an overview of clinical features and treatment options


Cunningham, ML and Griffiths, S and Mitchison, D and Mond, JM and Castle, D and Murray, SB, Muscle dysmorphia: an overview of clinical features and treatment options, Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 31, (4) pp. 255-271. ISSN 0889-8391 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Springer Publishing Company

DOI: doi:10.1891/0889-8391.31.4.255


An increasing public and empirical focus on male body image indicates that muscularity is a preeminent concern among boys and men. For some, these concerns develop into a complex and disabling psychiatric disorder termed muscle dysmorphia (MD), the hallmark of which is an intense preoccupation regarding one’s (subjectively) insufficient muscularity. Treatment of MD is critical; however, evidence to inform treatment approaches is sorely lacking. The purpose of this article is twofold. First, we provide an overview of the clinical features of MD, drawing particular attention to the preoccupation, functional impairment and psychiatric comorbidity associated with the disorder. Second, we discuss and recommend potential treatment directions for MD, including techniques that have demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of related disorders, namely, body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders (and anorexia nervosa in particular). Psychotherapeutic techniques, including cognitive restructuring of deleterious perfectionistic and egosyntonic beliefs, and dialectical behavioral techniques to improve the repertoire of emotion regulation skills available to afflicted individuals, are discussed, in addition to psychopharmacological approaches.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:muscle dysmorphia, muscle dysmorphic disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, male body image, treatment
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Mond, JM (Dr Jon Mond)
ID Code:123075
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2017-12-15
Last Modified:2018-08-24

Repository Staff Only: item control page