Exploring the Link Between Body Dysmorphia, Steroid Use, and Mental Health
A recent systematic review has explored the complex relationship between body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), anabolic-androgenic steroid use (AAS), and mental health outcomes. The study aims to identify potential interventions and treatments that may help mitigate these detrimental effects.
- The study reviewed articles from PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, Embase, and PsycINFO from 1992 to 2022.
- Search terms included “AAS,” “mental health outcomes,” “body dysmorphia,” and related terms.
- Forty-one articles were identified, and after removing duplicates and full-text appraisal, 33 articles were included in the final review.
- Bodybuilders and fitness athletes may be more susceptible to developing muscle dysmorphia, having disordered eating habits, and using performance-enhancing drugs like AAS.
- The COVID-19 pandemic increased reliance on social media and online interactions, previously associated with disordered eating patterns and negative body image.
- Being a member of a sexual minority may increase one’s risk of developing muscle dysmorphia and other types of BDD.
- The development and evaluation of interventions such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based interventions, and peer support programs, should be prioritized to deter AAS use in people at risk.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1.7% to 2.4% of the general population has BDD.
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