It comes as no surprise that the men of today are just as beauty-conscious as the women.  In desperate attempts to gain the stereotype ‘six-pack abs” many men are exposing themselves to the dangers of steroids abuse. The craze of achieving a hyper-masculine body in the shortest span of time has resulted in steroids smuggling within Australian borders, which is said to have increased by two fold in the past 2 years as reported by The Daily Telegraph.

Various psychologists seem to have identified this new concern facing the male population with respect to male body image dissatisfaction and have shared their perspectives. A Melbourne counselling psychologist, Dennis Kelynack holds the viewpoint that men are less likely to fall victims to physical consciousness and goes on to state, “The presenting problem is seldom one of body image. Men worry about how they present to others; they worry about anything that may bring about a perceived loss (in social standing)”

Helen Fawkner, a PhD psychology student from the University of Melbourne is researching the issues related to the physical body dissatisfaction present in both the genders. Her effort in the research paid off for she has been able to identify an increasing trend of body treatments among the male population. She says “Evidence suggests that more men are experiencing body image dissatisfaction than was previously thought. There is an increasing recognition that men can suffer from these problems.”

With the Hollywood celebrities serving as role models for the younger generation of today, the steroid abuse rumours by popular stars only seems to worsen the state of its increasing usage. Everyone is fully aware of the recent controversy of Sylvester Stallone, earning his claim to fame label of the star of the Rocky series, who was found guilty of being in possession of anabolic steroids in Sydney, Australia.

Enthusiastic body builders are completely aware of the only advantage offered by steroids that is a short cut in attaining a muscular body. But not many Australians seem to realise the negative impacts it can have on the physical and mental state of human body. Mission Australia’s 2008 National Survey of Young Australians shed light on an astounding figure of 22.22% of young men suffering from body image dissatisfaction. According to Better Health Channel website 3% of teenagers are involved in steroid abuse and other muscle enhancing drugs. One in four Australian men in the healthy men range hold a belief that he is fat. 17% of men are involved in a weight loss diet at any particular time. With such trends of physical consciousness prevailing in the society the usage of steroids seems to be catching a lot of attention.

Medically, a person experiencing an obsession with body dissatisfaction may be suffering from a condition called body dysmorphia disorder. An estimated 1.7% of the population world-wide is troubled by this condition. Susan Rossell, professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology at Swinburne and Monash Universities spoke about her research regarding BDD on Radio National in 2010. On body dysmorphia she said: “It’s characterised by a preoccupation with imagined or sometimes minor deficits in appearance. These minor deficits or imagined deficits cause severe distress, preoccupation and lead patients to too often isolate themselves — cause all sorts of other distressing thoughts for them and occupational and social issues because they don’t want to be seen out in the general world.”

What are your thoughts about steroid use in men in Australia? Leave your comments below.

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