Growing numbers of young men are taking the quest for perfect muscles, skin and hair too far, crossing the line from normal interest to pathological obsession. The authors of this text, all leading authorities, aim to help the reader understand and combat the frightening set of compulsive behaviours that make up the Adonis Complex. Combining colourful case studies with scientific research, they reveal a threat that is as serious as the beauty myth for women or anorexia nervosa for girls. The symptoms of this dangerous body obsession - excessive workouts, steroid abuse, eating disorders and body and muscle dysmorphic disorder (distorted body perception) - lead to problems with sex and intimacy, relationships and work. In teenagers, the Adonis Complex can interfere with healthy emotional and physical development.
Harrison G. Pope, Jr., M.D., is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and chief of the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory at McLean Hospital. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts.