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      Muscle dysmorphia: Could it be classified as an addiction to body image?

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          Abstract

          Background

          Muscle dysmorphia (MD) describes a condition characterised by a misconstrued body image in which individuals who interpret their body size as both small or weak even though they may look normal or highly muscular. MD has been conceptualized as a type of body dysmorphic disorder, an eating disorder, and obsessive–compulsive disorder symptomatology.

          Method and aim

          Through a review of the most salient literature on MD, this paper proposes an alternative classification of MD – the ‘Addiction to Body Image’ (ABI) model – using Griffiths (2005) addiction components model as the framework in which to define MD as an addiction.

          Results

          It is argued the addictive activity in MD is the maintaining of body image via a number of different activities such as bodybuilding, exercise, eating certain foods, taking specific drugs (e.g., anabolic steroids), shopping for certain foods, food supplements, and the use or purchase of physical exercise accessories). In the ABI model, the perception of the positive effects on the self-body image is accounted for as a critical aspect of the MD condition (rather than addiction to exercise or certain types of eating disorder).

          Conclusions

          Based on empirical evidence to date, it is proposed that MD could be re-classified as an addiction due to the individual continuing to engage in maintenance behaviours that may cause long-term harm.

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          Most cited references 27

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          A ‘components’ model of addiction within a biopsychosocial framework

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            Exercise addiction: symptoms, diagnosis, epidemiology, and etiology.

            Regular physical activity plays a crucial role in health maintenance and disease prevention. However, excessive exercise has the potential to have adverse effects on both physical and mental health. The scholastic and empirical discussion of excessive physical activity focuses on obsessive and compulsive exercising, and uses several labels. However, in this review, we argue that the most appropriate term for this phenomenon is exercise addiction, emphasizing that excessive physical exercise fits the typical and most common characteristics of behavioral addictions. The aim of this review is to synthesize the current knowledge on symptomology, diagnosis, epidemiology, and etiology of exercise addiction.
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              A “components” model of addiction within a biopsychosocial framework.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                J Behav Addict
                J Behav Addict
                JBA
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó (journals@akkrt.huhttp://www.akademiaikiado.hu )
                2062-5871
                2063-5303
                March 2015
                3 February 2014
                : 4
                : 1
                : 1-5
                Affiliations
                1School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol BristolUK
                2Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing, University of Ulster LondonderryUK
                3MRC All Ireland Trials Methodology Hub, University of Ulster LondonderryUK
                4International Gaming Research Unit, Division of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University NottinghamUK
                1School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol BristolUK
                2Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing, University of Ulster LondonderryUK
                3MRC All Ireland Trials Methodology Hub, University of Ulster LondonderryUK
                4International Gaming Research Unit, Division of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University NottinghamUK
                Author notes

                *Corresponding author: Mark D. Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies; International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Division, Nottingham Trent University, Burton Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU, UK; E-mail: mark.griffiths@ntu.ac.uk

                Article
                JBA_4(2015)1/1
                10.1556/JBA.3.2014.001
                4394845
                25592218
                Copyright © 2014, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Funding
                Funding source: None.
                Categories
                Opinion Paper
                Behavioral Science

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