Adonis Complex – A Body Image Problem

adonis complex

The term “Adonis Complex” describes a variety of body image concerns which have been bothering both boys and men, especially in the last decade. It does not describe any one body image problem, rather all the distortions collectively.

Adonis Complex or muscle dysmorphia, is also known as megarexia, bigorexia, or reverse anorexia. Men who suffer from Adonis Complex devote immoderate attention to their looks and yet think that their body is too small, too skinny, too lean, or has insufficient muscle mass.  These men may suffer from disorders of the body’s own reflections, says DGPPN, the German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.

Adonis Complex sufferers constantly worry that they are weak, although neutral observers usually see them as normal, or sometimes even exceptionally strong and well defined. The sufferer has the delusion that, compared to other men, they are “too small” or “too skinny,” so they constantly workout and spend a lot of time focusing on dietary regiments and nutritional supplements.  They are convinced that they have to continue to increase muscle mass, reduce fat, and carve their body even more. Use of anabolic steroids is especially high by such men.

Men with adonis complex may suffer from disorders of the body’s own reflections

Adonis Complex often dramatically affects the men’s lives because of these obsessions, jeopardizing careers as well as relationships with friends and loved ones.  They believe that their bodies are extremely undesirable, and rates of suicide attempts are especially high. The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation estimates that one in 10 gym-going men suffers from this disorder.

Adonis Complex typically affects younger men, and DGPPN states that this state often requires professional help from a psychologist or psychiatrist to get rid of the low self-esteem thinking that causes this condition.

The negative perception of their own bodies is a key factor for anorexia, but it can equally affect men obsessed with bodybuilding , according to the German psychologists.


A System Administrator holding several Microsoft and Citrix certificates, proud father of two beautiful girls, Calisthenics addict, author and founder of this site.

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