The purpose for the blog is because I have been asked a couple interesting questions. One client asked me if it was ok to take HGH (human growth hormone). His claim was that it is ok because it’s considered “California Sober” to be overly muscular. That didn’t make sense, so I asked for an explanation. He replied that being obsessed with size or muscle mass is a trend in the sober male community.
Another question I got was, “Am I in danger of a Eating Disorder if all I eat is clean food? I eat every meal, but I won’t eat anything that isn’t pure or organic. The thought of unclean food totally disgusts me.”
After hearing these questions, in the past few days, I’ve seen several news articles about Orthorexia and Bigorexia. Aside from the personal agony they can cause, there also seems to be a current cultural obsession.
Many of the news articles write that Orthorexia is a “newly recognized” eating disorder, even if it isn’t in the DSM (psychiatry’s Bible). I hear a lot more about Orthorexia now then when it was first diagnosed (1997), that’s for sure. Especially with the growth of smartphones and features like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and other platforms, Orthorexia has become more frequently discussed. A person (male or female but statically more females) suffering with Othorexia will obsess over clean eating and maintain the perfect diet. They fixate (obsessively and compulsively) on foods; supplements and ingredients that make them feel pure. Rarely do they eat out, distrusting anything that isn’t prepared in a “clean” way.
Bigorexia, better know as Muscle Dysmorphia, is a disorder that causes a person (men or women but statically more males) suffering it to constantly obsess and/or worry about being small, underdeveloped, and/or underweight. Typically those who have Muscle Dysmorphia are not frail or underdeveloped at all, and actually have large muscle mass. They obsess about having the perfect physique and believe their muscles are inadequate. This disorder is another form of Body Dysmorphia and is closely related to OCD.
However, can we actually call it a new disorder? In other words, is it an eating disorder in different clothing? Or could it be more related to obsessive-compulsive disorder than eating disorders? This question will be the subject of my next posts.