Muscle Dysmorphia and the DSM-V Conundrum: Where does it belong? A Review Paper

International Journal of Eating Disorders: Volume 43 Issue 6

About the Course:

Objective: Muscle dysmorphia is a relatively recently identified psychological condition that, since its inception, has been variously conceptualized as an eating disorder and subsequently as a type of body dysmorphic disorder within the somatoform disorders. The present review aims to inform and encourage ongoing debate surrounding the diagnostic placement of this disorder.
Method: We present a review and synthesis of the extant literature with a view to informing future decisions regarding the conceptualization of muscle dysmorphia.
Results: The validity of muscle dysmorphia as a clinical entity has been empirically demonstrated. While the condition bears little semblance to somatization as currently conceptualized, the research suggests a strong conceptual similarity with anorexia nervosa. However, future research needs to utilize more appropriate measures of male eating disorder pathology. Muscle dysmorphia is also inclusive of obsessive compulsive features which are typical to those seen in eating disorder presentations.
Discussion: We suggest that muscle dysmorphia be re-analyzed through the lens of an eating disorder spectrum. Recognition of muscle dysmorphia as an eating disorder may offer more clinical utility in recognizing the male experience of eating disorder pathology and also help reduce the number of current male cases falling into the EDNOS category.

Journal/Publisher:

Wiley Interscience International Journal of Eating Disorders

Publication Date:

September 2010

Authors

Stuart Murray; Dr. Elizabeth Rieger; Professor Stephen Touyz; Licenciada Yolanda de la Garza Garcia

About the Authors:

Stuart Murray is currently undertaking clinical psychology training and doctoral research at the University of Sydney, during which time he has published several articles in international journals, been awarded several research grants, and spoken at international conferences. Stuart is currently coordinating several research projects which aim to illuminate the male experience of body image disorders. Of particular interest is muscle dysmorphia, a disorder which exhibits a heavily polarized prevalence in males.

Dr. Elizabeth Rieger is a Senior Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist at Australian National University, and has authored many articles, book chapters and books on eating disorders and obesity as well as developing the first self-report questionnaire for assessing motivation to change in eating disorders.

Professor Stephen Touyz is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Sydney who has published over 200 papers within the field of eating disorders and is a former President of the Eating Disorder Research Society.

Licenciada Yolanda de la Garza Garcia is an early career Psychologist, who after completing her training at Universidad de Monterrey, has developed a keen research interest in the social construction of body image.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for Mental Health Professionals interested in body image disorders, and in particular, the male experience of body image disorders. Clinical psychologists may find this particularly relevant, as this paper discusses key diagnostic and conceptual issues, addressing the ongoing debate surrounding the diagnostic placement of muscle dysmorphia, which is a relatively new addition to the spectrum of body image disorders. This course is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Identify the symptomatic presentation of muscle dysmorphia.

  2. Name specific aspects of muscle dysmorphia which are significantly associated with eating disordered symptoms.

  3. Evaluate the arguments which posit that muscle dysmorphia ought to be variously conceptualized in the eating disorder, obsessive compulsive or body dysmorphia spectrums.

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