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Sunday, August 19, 2018  

ASK VICKI - I have always been very athletic and into body building with daily workouts.Published 11/3/2010

Q. I have always been very athletic and into body building with daily workouts. I never believe I am big enough or strong enough even though everyone tells me I am. Now my concern is my 13 year old son who mimics my behavior and constantly feels he needs to work out. I am worried about him.

A. It sounds like you have body dysmorphic disorder. This is a preoccupation with an imagined defect in appearance. If you even feel a slight physical anomaly is present, your concern becomes markedly excessive, i.e. daily, lengthy workouts.
Do you become so preoccupied with working out that it causes you significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning?  It can be difficult to have meaningful relationships with anyone when you can’t separate from the gym. Your work performance can suffer, also.
You definitely need to be concerned about your son as you may have passed your own insecurities down to him. Children do mimic the behavior of their parents, both good and bad until they are more mature to make their own decisions.
The best treatment for your son is to see you role model healthier  behavior with positive comments about your own body. You definitely need to get into counseling and learn what caused your behavior and how you can begin to recover.
Healthier parents create healthier children!!

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