Muscle Dysmorphia Linked to Suicidal Ideation and Planning in Adolescents and Young Adults

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.

A new study published in the journal Suicidal and Life-Threatening Behavior found that muscle dysmorphia are associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors among adolescents and young adults in Canada.

Muscle dysmorphia is a mental health disorder characterized by the pathological pursuit of muscularity and includes symptoms and behaviors such as muscle dissatisfaction, excessive exercise, and the use of appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs and substances. These muscle dysmorphia symptoms are common among adolescents and young adults in Canada, particularly boys and young men.

Among a sample of over 900 young people from the Canadian Study of Adolescent Health Behavior, the researchers found that experiencing symptoms of muscle dysmorphia was associated with an increased risk of suicidal ideation and suicide planning over a one-year period.

“Muscle dysmorphia symptoms can be pervasive, highly distressing, and severely impact individual functioning,” says lead author Kyle T. Ganson, Ph.D., MSW, assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. “Our findings are concerning given that the onset of suicidal ideation and suicide planning occurred after a one-year period of experiencing muscle dysmorphia symptoms.”

Source: MedicalXpress

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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