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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(10), 4069-4081; doi:10.3390/ijerph8104069
Article

Clarifying Exercise Addiction: Differential Diagnosis, Co-occurring Disorders, and Phases of Addiction

* ,
 and
School of Psychology, Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 September 2011 / Revised: 8 October 2011 / Accepted: 17 October 2011 / Published: 21 October 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance and Behavioral Addictions: Co-Occurrence and Specificity)
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Abstract

This paper sets out to clarify the unique features of exercise addiction. It begins by examining how this addiction can be distinguished from compulsions and impulse control disorders both of which, like an addiction, involve excessive behavior that creates adverse effects. Assessment of exercise addiction also requires that clinicians be attuned to other forms of excessive behavior, especially eating disorders that can co-occur with exercise. Finally in an effort to clarify exercise addiction, this paper uses the four phases of addiction to examine the attributes of exercise that define it as a healthy habit distinct from an addiction. The paper ends with a discussion of the implications of these topics for effective assessment and treatment.
Keywords: exercise addiction; phases of addiction; behavioral addictions; co-addictions exercise addiction; phases of addiction; behavioral addictions; co-addictions
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Freimuth, M.; Moniz, S.; Kim, S.R. Clarifying Exercise Addiction: Differential Diagnosis, Co-occurring Disorders, and Phases of Addiction. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 4069-4081.

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