The relationship between anabolic androgenic steroids and muscle dysmorphia: a review

Eat Disord. 2009 May-Jun;17(3):187-99. doi: 10.1080/10640260902848477.


This review explores the condition of muscle dysmorphia (MD) and its relationship with anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS). Particular emphasis is placed upon whether anabolic steroids are a predisposing, precipitating or perpetuating factor of MD. Furthermore, psychiatric complications of AAS abuse are examined. The current evidence from the literature suggests that AAS (ab)use is possibly a perpetuating factor in the evolution of MD. Psychiatric complications of AAS include mood and behavior changes, perceptual abnormalities, and withdrawal symptoms. In addition, there appears to be a credible dependence theory to AAS in fruition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anabolic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Body Image*
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Mood Disorders / psychology
  • Muscle Strength* / drug effects
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / complications*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Testosterone Congeners / administration & dosage
  • Testosterone Congeners / adverse effects*


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Testosterone Congeners