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addressing bdd and other body image issues in men

Body dysmorphia is a disorder that affects both men and women, but it often goes undiagnosed in men. This is because the symptoms can be different for men than they are for women. Guys often feel like they need to be big and muscular in order to be attractive, and this can lead to negative body image issues. In this blog post, we will discuss how body dysmorphia affects men and ways that they can overcome these negative feelings about their appearance.

What Is Body Dysmorphia And How Does It Affect Men

Body dysmorphia is a condition that causes people to have a distorted view of their bodies. People with this condition often see themselves as being much larger or much smaller than they actually are. Or it may involve an over-emphasis on small flaws and imperfections to the point where the individual becomes obsessive about them.

This can lead to a number of different issues, including negative body image, anxiety, and depression. For men, this can often manifest itself as a need to be big and muscular. They may feel like they need to bulk up in order to be considered attractive, and this can lead to unhealthy eating and exercise habits. If left untreated, body dysmorphia can have a serious impact on a man's mental and physical health.

What most people don't realize is that while issues with anorexia and eating disorders are commonly discussed with regard to women, 40% of people with BDD - Body Dysmorphic Disorder are men.

While men and women may have different aspects of their body that cause issue with perception, the reality is that this is a serious issue for both males and females.

When Does Body Dysmorphic Disorder Begin?

In men, Body Dysmorphic Disorder begins in early puberty. This is both because this is a time when body changes between different boys begin to become more noticeable as an influx of testosterone begins to transform the male body from boy to man but socially it is also an awkward time as these boys are trying to figure out how they should present themselves to become more attractive to potential mates as well as powerful people in society generally.

However, while this is the most common time that it begins to be noticed - people of any age can begin to exhibit signs of the disorder.


Bigorexia Is One Recently Created Version of BDD Almost Exclusive To Men

Similar to anorexia is an obsessive focus on losing weight, bigorexia is an obsession with bulking up and building muscle mass. While working out and building muscles can be generally a healthy hobby. Men with Bigorexia manifest unhealthy patterns in their pursuit.

Specifically, their feeling that nothing is enough and they aren't big enough as well as an over-emphasis on this aspect of physical appearance despite often significant muscle gains.

This can lead to physical health issues such as complications from steroid misuse, injury from pushing the body past its limits, and diets that result in an unhealthy caloric intake as well as use of supplements.

Understanding The Difference Between Body Dysmorphia And Simply Negative Body Image issues In Men

Body dysmorphia is a mental disorder that causes people to see themselves in a distorted way. This can lead to negative body image, anxiety, and depression.

On the other hand, negative body image is when someone has a negative view of their own physical appearance. This may be due to media images or societal pressure. It's important to note that not everyone who has negative body image issues also has body dysmorphia.

In some ways, it can be looked at similar to the difference between drinking too much and being an alcoholic. While one may exhibit behavior patterns as a result of low self-esteem, body dysmorphic disorder becomes an issue once it begins to impact your health and behavior due to obsessive tendencies.

The first step in overcoming negative body image is recognizing that your thoughts about your appearance are not accurate. If you think you might have body dysmorphia, it's important to seek professional help. A therapist can help you learn to see yourself in a more realistic way and develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with these issues.

On the other hand, many more men suffer from low self-esteem issues due to negative body image issues. Sadly, as the gender roles continue to shuffle, men are discovering that while it was once ok to have rugged, wrinkled, and leathery skin now there are literally entire aisles of products to help address that.

Men today face issues that their peers never dreamed of just a generation ago.


How Men Can Overcome Body Issues And Improve Self Esteem

Every man experiences times in their life when they feel less confident in their appearance. Changing circumstances such as becoming a dad, experiencing an illness, or even just growing older can make a difference in how you look. When you are busy dealing with the everyday demands of life, taking care of your appearance may get pushed further down your list of priorities as you do not have the time to look after yourself. Progressing a career, being a good dad, and all of your other responsibilities can undoubtedly make it hard to find time for yourself and to worry about the way you look. But, while the way you look may seem like a superficial thing, it can have a strong influence on how you feel and have a substantial impact on your confidence.

Losing confidence in your appearance can impact many areas of your life, and you may feel less self-assured and lose interest in areas of your life that previously mattered to you. Hitting the gym to work out may now seem out of the question as you may feel self-conscious about your appearance and not want others to see you in your gym kit. If you have noticed your confidence has started to fade, working on your appearance could help you to regain it. Here are some of the ways you can help yourself feel more confident in your appearance:


Cosmetic Surgery Can Help Some Men

Many men have parts of their bodies that make them self-conscious. For some men, this could be hair loss that makes them feel conscious about their appearance, and for others, enlarged breast tissue may make them feel self-conscious about wearing certain clothes and removing their tops in public. If you think that your confidence in your appearance is holding you back and preventing you from leading your life in the way that you would like, there are two choices to consider. Firstly, you can work on accepting yourself how you are and building your confidence in your appearance slowly.

Secondly, you could decide to make changes to your appearance. It is essential to know that whatever your concerns about your body, there are usually ways that this can be fixed. For men unhappy with their hairline, a hair transplant procedure could be a viable option and should help you regain your confidence and help you feel and look younger. If enlarged male breast tissue is something you are concerned about, this can also usually be remedied with the help of male breast reduction.

So, if there are aspects of your body that make you feel uncomfortable, there are options available and changing aspects of your appearance you dislike is a possibility to consider.


Dress to Impress

When was the last time you cleared out your closet? Many people find that they wear the same few items of clothing day after day and have a closet full of clothing that they never wear. If you have items in your wardrobe that are left untouched and still have their tags, now is the ideal time to go through your closet and start making some changes.

Decluttering your closet is an excellent way to assess your clothing choices. When you delve deeper into your wardrobe, you may find that your clothes no longer suit your sense of style and that you have items that you have not worn in decades. Choosing to either donate or sell any clothes that do not make you feel great about yourself is an excellent place to start on your closet audit. If you have clothing that no longer fits you well, it is a good idea to get these pieces either altered or to get rid of them too. This will ensure that the only clothing you own not only makes you feel good but also makes you look great. 

If your closet decluttering session has left you with very few items left hanging in your wardrobe, then now is the perfect time to refresh your style. Taking a look online, at the mall, and in magazines is an excellent way to find inspiration for your personal style and to help you find clothing that matches your personality and how you want to be seen by others. Your clothing can significantly impact how you feel, so taking the time to choose clothes that match your personality is an excellent way to boost your confidence in your appearance.


Stay Active

If you are looking for further ways to boost your confidence and improve your appearance, improving your fitness is a great solution. Choosing to be more active does not need to mean you need to start training for a marathon. Instead, you simply need to move more to feel the benefits. Being physically active will not only help you keep your body in shape, but it will also help you to improve your wellbeing. Whether you choose to hit the gym, go for a swim, or to start cycling to work, small changes in your activity levels can make a significant difference.

When you start exercising, you should find that your confidence starts to grow and that you feel less self-conscious about your appearance. You will also experience the release of endorphins when you exercise. These feel-good hormones can help to give your mood a boost, making you feel great and a lot more positive about yourself generally.


Take Care of Yourself

There is one final thing you can do to help you feel more confident in your appearance. Taking care of yourself is an excellent way to build your self-esteem. Self-care may not be something that you have really thought about before, and it may make you instantly think of back massages and face packs.

But, taking care of yourself involves more than this; it is about looking after your needs, eating the right foods, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep. These basic elements of your daily life can make a significant difference to how you feel and how you look.

Make Sure To Look For The Warning Signs Between Self-Esteem Issues And BDD

While it is essential to look after your needs, it is also crucial that you monitor how you are feeling. It can be easy to become fixated on your appearance and to start seeing things that are not there. If you find yourself becoming more and more concerned about your looks, then it is important to seek professional help. This is because you may be developing body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). BDD is a mental health condition that causes people to become obsessed with their appearance. People with BDD often go to great lengths to hide any perceived flaws and will often spend hours looking in the mirror or trying to camouflage themselves. It can be a very debilitating condition, so if you think you may have BDD, please see a doctor, and be open to honest feedback from friends and family who care about you.

Written by:
#MenWhoBlog MemberBlogging GuruThought Leader

James' passion for exploration and sense of duty to his community extends beyond himself. This means he is dedicated to providing a positive role model for other men and especially younger guys that need support so that they can thrive and be future positive contributors to society. This includes sharing wisdom, ideas, tips, and advice on subjects that all men should be familiar with, including: family travel, men's health, relationships, DIY advice for home and yard, car care, food, drinks, and technology. Additionally, he's a travel advisor and a leading men's travel influencer who has been featured in media ranging from New York Times to the Chicago Tribune, and LA Times. He's also been cited by LA Weekly "Top Travel Bloggers To Watch 2023" and featured by Muck Rack: "Top 10 Outdoor Journalists for 2022".

He and his wife Heather live in St Joseph, Michigan - across the lake from Chicago.