Addiction to exercise is persistent, so an exercise addict exercises too much and for too long without giving the body a chance to recover. We all overexert ourselves on occasion, and usually rest afterwards. But exercise addicts exercise for hours every day, regardless of fatigue or illness.
People who feel pressure to stay in shape are at risk of developing exercise addiction.
Overweight people who set out on an extreme weight loss regimen may be at risk of exercise addiction.
In some cases, former drug addicts and alcohol abusers turn to exercise to fill the void left by past addictions. This is similar to the way a smoker may become addicted to caffeine after quitting cigarettes.
As with many other conditions and diseases, vulnerability to addiction differs from person to person. Your genes, mental health, family and social environment can all play a role in addiction. Risk factors that increase your vulnerability include:
- Family history of addiction
- Abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences in childhood
- Mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety
Many patients require individual sessions with an addiction specialist. Dr de Silva would conduct a comprehensive assessment and explain her conclusions to you .She would discuss the treatment options taking into consideration your views and what she considers the optimum treatment for you. Treatment would generally include medication, or individual therapy or both. Dr de Silva can also make a referral to a psychologist or psychotherapist to look the psychological aspects of the addiction as well as trying to address the underlying causes. You would be reviewed regularly by Dr de Silva to monitor your progress.
If you require more intense treatment and to be away from the familiar environment, which may be contributing to the addiction, Dr de Silva can arrange for admission to treatment centre where you would stay for the duration of their treatment. Treatment at one of the centres would usually include medication management, individual psychological sessions as well as group psychological work. There is often specific focus on understanding the nature of addiction and relapse prevention. If an admission to a treatment centre is recommended Dr de Silva would be able to help identify the most appropriate treatment centre for you.
Many people think of addictions as purely alcohol or illegal drug addiction, however there are many other forms including: