Addiction A-Z

Anorexia athletica

Compulsive exercise is a drive to work out to excessive, unhealthy levels despite physical and emotional consequences. It is typically accompanied by a distorted body image and often an eating disorder, prompting some to label the problem “Anorexia Athletica.” The disorder can also be called exercise dependence, exercise addiction or compulsive athleticism. Not all compulsive exercisers, however, have eating disorders, leading experts to believe some sufferers are addicted to the act of exercising itself. Causes for the behavior include the desire for more control in their lives, or over their body appearance. Some become addicted to the “high” that comes from exercise.  Some women who suffer from a compulsive exercise disorder say they use exercise to help manage low self-esteem issues. It is suggested that obsessive compulsive disorder could be part of the underlying cause of compulsive exercising.


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