Compulsive exercise is not a recognized clinical diagnosis in the DSM-5, but many people struggle with symptoms associated with this term. If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s relationship with exercise, please speak with a treatment professional at NEDRC, based in Dublin, Ireland.
WARNING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF COMPULSIVE EXERCISE
- Exercise that significantly interferes with important activities, occurs at inappropriate times or in inappropriate settings, or when the individual continues to exercise despite injury or other medical complications
- Intense anxiety, depression, irritability, feelings of guilt, and/or distress if unable to exercise
- Maintains excessive, rigid exercise regimen – despite weather, fatigue, illness, or injury
- Discomfort with rest or inactivity
- Exercise used to manage emotions
- Exercise as a means of purging (needing to “get rid of” or “burn off” calories)
- Exercise as permission to eat
- Exercise that is secretive or hidden
- Feeling as though you are not good enough, fast enough or not pushing hard enough during a period of exercise; overtraining
- Withdrawal from friends and family
HEALTH CONSEQUENCES OF COMPULSIVE EXERCISE
- Bone density loss (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
- Loss of menstrual cycle (in women)
- Female Athlete Triad (in women)
- Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S)
- Persistent muscle soreness
- Chronic bone & joint pain
- Increased incidence of injury (overuse injuries, stress fractures, etc.)
- Persistent fatigue and sluggishness
- Altered resting heart rate
- Increased frequency of illness & upper respiratory infections
Treatment for Exercise Addiction includes
- Refraining from exercise for a period of time to regain a balanced lifestyle and identify underlying issues
- Counseling from qualified treatment professionals on developing healthier coping skills and tools to lead a more balanced life
- Working with a physiologist or specialist when resuming exercise, to assist in determining a healthy workout schedule, appropriate duration of exercise, etc.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of excessive exercise and/or an eating disorder, eating disorder treatment, including psychotherapy, can help address both the eating disorder and exercise obsession. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps to modify behaviors as well as underlying beliefs about exercise, can help individuals to develop moderation and balance.
If you are based in Ireland & want to learn more about Over Exercising / Compulsive Exercising Treatment, contact NEDRC.
NEDRC can help you take that vital step to regain a healthy and happy life. Please call us about our eating disorder treatments.