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Muscle dysmorphia, a mental health issue that is silently tormenting men worldwide, calls for more attention and a fundamental shift in society's perception of masculinity.

In recent years, an insidious problem has been growing in the shadows of men's mental health: muscle dysmorphia. This condition—a subtype of body dysmorphic disorder—causes men to obsess over their perceived lack of muscularity, leading them into harmful behaviors like over-exercising and steroid abuse. All too often, it goes unnoticed or misunderstood.

At they recently published an article titled, 'Inside the rising ‘muscle dysmorphia crisis’ among young men' describing it as causing what experts are calling a ‘silent crisis’ in men’s mental health

The three main factors that seemed to be contributing to this crisis are, firstly, societal expectations linked to masculinity play a significant role. Men feel pressed to embody an unrealistic image of physical excellence—lean yet muscular—that is relentlessly promoted by media and advertising. Secondarily, the lack of public awareness about muscle dysmorphia exacerbates its impact; many people are not even aware that it exists until it affects them or someone they know directly. Lastly, the stigma surrounding men's mental health further discourages those affected from seeking help.

The consequences are severe: excessive workouts can lead to physical injuries; steroid abuse can result in long-term health complications; isolation and depression can take root as individuals become more engrossed with their physique.

Acknowledge the Issue:

We need our society at large—from schools to workplaces—to recognize muscle dysmorphia as a genuine mental health concern.

Promote Healthy Masculinity:

We must redefine what it means to be 'masculine.' Traits like empathy and emotional openness should be valued just as much as physical strength.

Educate Publicly:

Public education campaigns can raise awareness about muscle dysmorphia while also destigmatizing conversations around men’s mental health.

Support Mental Health Services:

We need to invest in mental health services that cater specifically to men, fostering an environment where they can feel comfortable seeking and receiving help.

This crisis requires immediate attention from all corners of society. Schools, media outlets, and policymakers must be part of the solution. Society needs to shed the outdated image of masculinity that pressures men into striving for unattainable physical perfection. It's high time we encourage a healthier understanding of masculinity—one that values the mental well-being of men as much as their physical strength.

Read the article here: Inside the rising ‘muscle dysmorphia crisis’ among young men

Brothers in Arms