Many men are com­plain­ing of the con­di­tion in which they feel they aren’t beefed up enough

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - Susan Jose susan.jose@hin­dus­tan­ — With in­puts from Dr Prakash M Doshi, or­thopaedi­cian and trau­ma­tol­o­gist, and Dr Ro­hann Bok­dawala, psy­chi­a­trist

Re­cently, a me­chan­i­cal fit­ter, Ross Bat­ten, made head­lines when he came clean about his strug­gle with a men­tal dis­or­der called big­orexia. Ear­lier, in Septem­ber, a doc­u­men­tary on fit­ness trainer Pradeep Bala had re­vealed de­tails about his strug­gle with the same dis­or­der. In an ef­fort to keep up with so­ci­ety’s ris­ing stan­dard of good looks, men around the world are in­creas­ingly fall­ing prey to this par­tic­u­lar dis­or­der, in which one is never ‘big enough’ or ‘buff enough’. “Big­orexia is the other end of anorexia. In the lat­ter, you feel that you are too fat or too big; in big­orexia, you feel that you are not big or mus­cu­lar enough. The per­son who suf­fers from it, al­most al­ways a man, feels that he needs to put on more mus­cle, even though he may be in the range that I would con­sider ‘nor­mal’,” says Kersi Chavda, con­sul­tant in psy­chi­atric medicine.

How it af­fects

“In big­orexia, there is a ten­dency to eat too much of the ‘right food’ (pro­tein) which can end up dam­ag­ing the kid­ney. Ex­ces­sive ex­er­cis­ing can also lead to over­strained mus­cles and ten­dons, which may lead to in­juries or frac­tures,” says Dr Chavda. The per­sonal life of big­orex­ics also suf­fers ma­jorly as they com­pro­mise on spend­ing time with fam­ily and friends and spend most of their time in the gym in­stead. Dur­ing work hours, they are highly anx­ious, an­tic­i­pat­ing the time they would reach the gym and start work­ing out.

Treat­ment mode

Big­orex­ics need to be dealt with tact­fully. Talk­ing it out and making those af­fected understand the con­di­tion, is im­por­tant. If they are still adamant, re­as­sure them. It is im­por­tant to deal with them pa­tiently as they may be eas­ily ir­ri­ta­ble. Make them aware of the pros and cons of ex­ces­sive ex­er­cis­ing through their train­ers at the gym. In such cases, most peo­ple trust their gym train­ers.

In ex­treme sit­u­a­tions, the pa­tient might need hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion, es­pe­cially if there are phys­i­cal is­sues. Coun­selling, treat­ment of pri­mary is­sues re­lated to body-im­age prob­lems, and the oc­ca­sional use of anti-ob­ses­sive med­i­ca­tion might help in such cases.

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