Disturbed body image
For some people, exercise can degenerate into a constant battle for the ideal body. These include bodybuilders and those with eating disorders. Experts even talk about sports bulimia (Bulimia athletica) and sports anorexia (Anorexia athletica). Those affected do not vomit or starve, but simply train the annoying calories. Gugutzer knows: "Especially young women transfer their high demands on themselves to the training and want to achieve recognition for their performance."
While in women often the desire for the ideal weight and the dream figure is the driving force, men are mainly concerned about the muscle pack. Both have in common that their body perception is disturbed. Anorexic women find themselves too fat in a health-threatening underweight. Men feel slender and untrained, despite their heavy biceps. Among bodybuilders, this phenomenon is known as "muscle dysmorphia". Without training, they fear, the body will immediately lose muscle.
Consequences of sports addiction
Excessive exercise can have serious consequences for the body. Those who ignore fatigue of the body, take early wear of bones, ligaments and tendons in purchasing. Women who also have anorexia or bulimia lose vital body fat. Possible consequences are hormonal imbalances with no menstruation or osteoporosis with a decrease in bone density.
From a certain calorie consumption without adequate food intake then no longer sets the desired effect, but the opposite: the body does not build up muscles, but from - so the physical performance decreases sensitive. Social contacts, concentration in the workplace and career also suffer.
Anyone who goes through a several-hour fitness program in addition to the work, lonely by and by. As the muscles become stronger, the contact with friends and relatives lapses. Even the love relationships can break if the partner loses the understanding of endurance because he feels heeded too little. Some literally run away from a relationship.
Sports addiction: treatment by psychotherapists
The danger is great with sports addicts that they do not perceive the addictive behavior as such, but dismiss only as a passionate hobby. Those who find out the first signs of sports addiction will usually realize that they can not reduce their sports volume on their own. "Then he should contact a psychotherapist, " advises Gugutzer.
The causes and the extent of the fitness addiction are individually very different, "you have to decide each time again, which therapy is suitable for the person concerned". The focus is on cognitive therapy approaches. By talking therapist and sufferers try to decipher the causes of addictive behavior and ultimately solve the dependency.
Patients can visit a psychological counseling center or consult a practicing sports psychologist. If there are already serious physical sequelae, sometimes a hospitalization in a psychosomatic clinic is necessary.