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Considering the Definition of Addiction
Open AccessArticle

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

School of Psychology, Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(10), 4069-4081; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph8104069
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)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: exercise addiction; phases of addiction; behavioral addictions; co-addictions exercise addiction; phases of addiction; behavioral addictions; co-addictions
MDPI and ACS Style

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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