The Sunday News
Hi Sis Noe
I AM a bodybuilder but I have a problem, I eat a lot. As a result I now have an eating disorder that my doctor called megarexia. What is it and how can I stop it? — Worried.
From time to time, many people experience bouts of insecurity about their appearance. However, if these thoughts significantly impact behaviours or habits, serious problems can follow. The good news is that treatment can help you build up your self-esteem and overcome body image concerns. The mental condition you have is called muscle dysmorphia (MDM), it is a mental health condition experienced by men and women with a distorted perception of their body muscle (specifically a lack thereof). People with MDM (also known as bigarexia or megarexia) may feel that their muscles are inadequate, even if their body appears strong to others.
Muscle dysmorphia seems to affect men more often than women, perhaps due to social and cultural pressures on men to have beefy bodies. MDM is characterised by a constant preoccupation with body and muscle size that often results in excessive or compulsive exercise and weight training, even when injuries are present. In order to meet the demands of a rigid exercise routine, people struggling with MDM may sacrifice time with friends and family or shirk responsibilities at work or school. Some may even resort to using steroids or other muscle-building medications despite the risk of harmful consequences.
Although muscle dysmorphia shares some of the hallmarks of disordered eating (namely compulsive exercise and weight training), MDM does not meet the diagnostic criteria for a specific eating disorder — so it’s hard to help you but I will try. No definitive standards have been established to diagnose muscle dysmorphia.
However, clinicians believe that people with this condition may also experience symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, a phobic response, or a state of anxiety. Since our understanding of MDM is still evolving, treatment options vary. A combination of cognitive behavioural therapy (or other counselling techniques) and antidepressant medications has been helpful to some people with muscle dysmorphia. However, acknowledging a problem and seeking help can prove difficult. First, someone with MDM may not realise or be willing to admit that her/his thoughts and habits related to weight and body shape are harmful. Second, her/his loved ones may not pick up on the problem since people often associate muscled bodies with healthy eating and exercise practices. You should just cut down on the food you eat, just change your habit. Find other habits that cancel out your cravings to eat a lot.
Hi Sis Noe
Is it true that children who are molested grow up to be promiscuous? I was molested as a child and now I sleep around and my counsellor said it’s because I was molested when I was a child. — Devastated.
It’s hard to pin down the exact odds of this happening. Overall, survivors of sexual abuse may be more likely than non-survivors to use addiction as a coping mechanism, which may include an addiction to sex. That is not to say, though, that all survivors become promiscuous. Actually, many survivors do just the opposite — they may avoid most, if not all, sexual activity. Your question brings up a larger issue.
According to experts, child and adult survivors of sexual abuse develop ways to cope with what happened to them. In the short-term, these ways of coping often help survivors deal with intolerable circumstances, thoughts, and feelings. For instance, many survivors who don’t get professional help right away find ways to numb their pain and confusion. Some turn to drugs and alcohol. Others turn to excessive sexual activity. Some retreat into tumultuous relationships or avoid connecting with other people altogether.
While these diversions may provide some immediate relief, they often lead to more suffering. At the worst, survivors dip into addictions, sexual confusion, and unstable and erratic relationships. Some survivors enter a cycle of victimisation, repeatedly finding themselves in situations where they are sexually abused as adults. This creates shame, guilt, and even more confusion for the survivor. At some point, survivors often realise their ways of coping are no longer working or are actually causing more problems for them.
There are lots of resources available for those who are ready and willing to explore their ways of coping. And, it often helps survivors to talk with mental health professionals about their experiences and ways of coping. It’s important for you not to be stereotyped or to be expected to have certain characteristics. Each survivor has unique experiences, feelings, thoughts, and ways of coping. With this understanding, it’s possible for you to find peaceful resolve to your problem. In fact, many survivors lead healthy, happy, and meaningful lives. I am sure your counsellor will help you to overcome this problem.
Hi Sis Noe
My father found condoms in my room but he did not say anything. He has not confronted me about them but he told my brother about it. I am embarrassed to be in the same room with him. What should I do? — Embarrassed.
You were not stupid to keep condoms. On the contrary, it was smart to hold onto them in case you had your girlfriend visit you for sex. However, it sounds like your father finding the condoms was an undesired consequence of your forethought, although one that can possibly be turned into something positive — an opportunity to be open with your father about an important aspect of your life, your sexuality. Talking about sex with parents is rarely fun for anyone, but it could be a great chance to show your father how mature and responsible you are about your health and your relationships.
The fact that you know that condoms are there to prevent pregnancy and protect you and that you were able to seek and receive the condoms you need for safe sex, shows that you and your girlfriend are responsible and knowledgeable. If you are certain your father found the condoms, and that your brother is not playing games; then he likely already knows that you are having sex. Parents are often just as nervous as their kids are when it comes to discussing sex. For this reason or many others, it’s possible that your father won’t bring up his discovery at all. If you feel there is something to be gained by sharing this fact of your life with your father, power to you! And if you feel you don’t need to bring it up if he doesn’t, carry on safely! Hopefully you feel better prepared to face the option of discussing the decisions you have made with your father whether he brings it up now or later, or whether you choose to do so at some point along the road.
Hi Sis Noe
Every time after I have sex I have a feeling that I must go to the toilet. Is this normal? — Worried.
There are many different types of sex that can lead a person to feel like s/he needs to take a bathroom break. Some types of sex may actually make a person feel like s/he had an accident in the bed. Others can actually increase that “go-to-the-toilet” feeling. It most happens when you get a G-spot orgasm. This highly intense form of orgasm happens when a particular area of the vagina is sufficiently stimulated. The G-spot, typically located against the part of the vaginal wall closest to the stomach, can result in an intense orgasm with highly pleasurable cervical contractions. These cervical contractions release fluid collected on the inner part of the cervix. The fluid is slightly different than the more common vaginal lubrication: It is more watery and may feel somewhat like urine, but is usually odourless. Because of the accompanying orgasm, this fluid is often released with much gusto.
A woman can feel like she is peeing both because of the volume of liquid and because of the internal feeling of release that may accompany the spasms. Emptying your bladder before sex can usually help reassure yourself that you are not urinating. Other explanations for the urge to urinate could be pressure on the bladder externally from certain sexual positions or vaginal penetration at certain angles, which could also put pressure on the bladder. Some people like to have sex with a fuller bladder because it can enhance an orgasm, especially for women. The trick here is to be full enough to enhance the orgasm without creating discomfort. It may take some trial and error to get the right balance. If you are trying to avoid this full-bladder feeling, completely emptying it right before sex could help reassure you that an accident won’t happen while you are getting it on. Of course, if it does, know that urine is sterile.