Vigorexia is a body dysmophic disorder. That is, the person has a distorted reality of his body. Either because you believe that you have a defect or because you exaggerate a slight defect. What it produces is an excessive concern for a specific part of the body. As can be the legs, arms, nose. The symptoms are easy to identify.
The person who suffers from it constantly tries to remedy it. In an obsessive way, giving it a priority concern. As it can be doing physical exercise constantly, to correct that defect. Looking in the mirror frequently, checking that the sacrifice to correct it pays off. Or in many cases, going to cosmetic surgery, when it comes to breasts or some aspects of the facial face.
The person who suffers from vigorexia, tends to be insecure. You do not feel comfortable when it comes to dressing. He thinks that the clothes do not suit him. Causing serious self-acceptance and self-esteem problems.
Although a priori it seems like a physical problem. The point is that it is a psychological problem. They are people who are affected in a very negative way by the established canon. So they have perfectionism. Also to constantly compare yourself with others. And inducing states of stress to reach the proposed beauty standard.
Vigorexia involves obsessive behavior with the body
Once symptoms have developed, the person with vigorexia tends to isolate himself. Since the results do not cause him conformity. That is, you can spend hours in the gym or undergo cosmetic surgery, and feel that you have worsened. In the most extreme cases, the person can suffer from depression. Since the feelings of frustration and anxiety are reinforced to worrying levels.
Statistical studies show that people with vigorexia are one in 2,000. And that 5% of them are regular gym users. Such is the case with bodybuilders. Which consume large amounts of anabolics and is a very susceptible profile to suffer from this disorder. Since many of them make muscle development an obsession.
The person who suffers from vigorexia has low self-esteem and tends to isolate himself
This entails a change in perception. The person with vigorexia may be large and muscular, but appear small and weak. What causes them to increase the time of compulsive physical exercise. With the intention of reaching the canon of athletic body.
Another of the most common symptoms in people with vigorexia is careful diet. Trying to be low in carbohydrates and fat. Going to the consumption of anabolics to rapidly increase muscle mass.
Statistical studies show that it is more prone in men than in women. With men suffering from vigorexia 80%, compared to 20% in women. Among the causes that produce it, several variables can be observed. On the one hand, the social aspect that we have mentioned. It also refers to behavioral aspects. As shyness or lack of ability to socialize. And low self-esteem along with the ingrained idea of perfection. In addition, an unknown aspect is that it produces changes in the neuronal mechanism. Such as alterations in serotonin levels.
The person who suffers from vigorexia tends, as we have pointed out, to isolation. A visible effect is that they put aside work, studies or relationships with family and friends, to focus on sports.
Among its consequences is that in the long term it can damage bones, muscles and joints. Even suffering from hypertension or kidney damage, as well as risk of having a heart attack.
Treatments to overcome vigorexia are varied. In very serious cases you have to go to medical treatments such as serotonin inhibitors. This type of medication must be accompanied by psychotherapy. With techniques such as relaxation, hypnosis, self-esteem workshop, etc. What is tried above all, is to try to reduce the patient’s compulsive recurrent thoughts.