University Of Tasmania

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Muscle dysmorphia: an overview of clinical features and treatment options

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 14:12 authored by Cunningham, ML, Griffiths, S, Mitchison, D, Jon MondJon Mond, Castle, D, Murray, SB
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.


Publication title

Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy










School of Health Sciences


United States

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright 2017 Springer Publishing Company

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Mental health