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Is Body Dysmorphia Common in Bodybuilding?

By: Dr. Rolando Morales


Most people admire celebrities and athletes who seem to look a certain way. Unfortunately, images of flat stomachs and picture-perfect muscles are so ingrained in our culture that we begin to develop body image issues. Bodybuilders are included in this group – more often than you think.

Body dysmorphia, or body dysmorphic disorder, is a fixation on a perceived flaw on your face or body. Sometimes, people can go to extreme lengths to address these flaws through plastic surgery. At Morales Plastic Surgery, we encourage patients to educate themselves about the seriousness of body dysmorphia and seek help where available.

As a bodybuilder himself, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Rolando Morales understands that people want to look and feel their best at all times. While bodybuilder cosmetic surgery is common, your health and safety are our top priority. We only recommend procedures with your best interest in mind.

You can learn more about body image disorder by reading below or calling our facility for a consultation in Houston, TX.

Body dysmorphia defined

Body dysmorphia is a mental health disorder in which someone is fixated on a specific “defect” on their body. People experience a great amount of embarrassment or frustration that interferes with work, school, and social activities. They may even avoid social exposure or turn to cosmetic surgery to improve their appearance.

Bodybuilders and body dysmorphia

Bodybuilders are hyper-aware of their appearance throughout the year. The on-season is when they achieve their peak definition, while the off-season is dedicated to increasing muscle mass in preparation for the on-season. This can affect the way bodybuilders feel about their shape and size.

Male and female bodybuilders are both affected by body image disorder in Houston, TX. Women may struggle with loose skin on the abdomen or buttocks, while men are concerned about excess gland tissue on their chests. Again, they may turn to bodybuilder cosmetic surgery to address these problems. Some characteristics of body dysmorphia on bodybuilders include:

  • Over-exertion to increase muscle mass

  • Anxiety if unable to attend a workout

  • Overtraining or training when injured

  • Disordered eating

  • Steroid abuse

  • Compulsive checking of one’s physique

Seeking treatment

Bodybuilders with body dysmorphia should speak with a trained mental health professional right away. A therapist may ask questions about your experiences and how your condition impacts your everyday life. While it is never easy to ask for help, there is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. Professionals help people cope with their body image disorder in a safe and healthy way.

Learn about body image disorder

Many different kinds of plastic surgeries can address pockets of fat, loose skin, and other cosmetic issues. This includes liposuction, male breast reduction surgery, and more. A trusted surgeon does not oversell and only recommends treatments they believe will help.

If you are seeking bodybuilder cosmetic surgery, Dr. Rolando Morales has helped countless individuals achieve the look and definition they want in Houston, TX. When you come in for an assessment at Morales Plastic Surgery, we can learn about your goals and provide you with realistic expectations in terms of results. Contact us today to find out more.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.