We’ve all heard of the common eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, and most likely known or will know someone who suffers from an eating disorder. A newer disorder, however, has begun to emerge, and although it is not yet a recognized diagnosis, it is equally dangerous and carries its own consequences.
This new disorder is called anorexia athletica, or compulsive exercising. A person suffering from anorexia athletica exercises for an amount of time or an intensity that is beyond normal. This person will exercise compulsively in an attempt to control weight in a misguided attempt to gain a sense of power, control, and self-respect.
Anorexia athletica is not a recognized diagnosis in the same way that anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are. However, many people who are preoccupied with food and weight, exercise compulsively in attempts to control weight in a misguided attempt to gain a sense of power, control, and self-respect.
Symptoms of Anorexia Athletica
- Exercising beyond the requirements for good health
- Being fanatical about weight and diet
- Focusing on challenge and forgetting that physical activity can be fun
- Defining self-worth in terms of performance
- Rarely or never being satisfied with athletic achievements
- Always pushing on to the next challenge
- Justifying excessive behaviour by defining self as an athlete or insisting that their behavior is healthy
Anorexia athletica is an addiction to exercise. With anorexia athletica, a person no longer enjoys exercise, but feels obligated to do so.compulsive exercising A victim, most prominently a female between the ages of 12 and 19, may experience a sense of guilt and anxiety when missing a work out, and not even sickness or injury can stop him/her from fulfilling the need for exercise.
People who exercise compulsively are commonly talented athletes, and view their self-worth by athletic achievement. So, it stands to reason that people who compulsively exercise have control of their bodies, and are amazing athletes? In contrast, the people who live to work out are the ones who can’t keep their eyes open in class, are constantly feeling depressed and are anxious about what they’re eating for dinner. They can’t perform in sports because they are damaging their bodies, and when small injuries aren’t allowed to heal, the harm can be severe. Even more seriously, extreme exercise can place stress on the heart, and along with unhealthy eating disorders, can result in depression and even death.
Anorexia athletica is just as serious as anorexia nervosa (compulsive weight loss) and bulimia nervosa (the binge and purge syndrome), and usually the diseases go hand-in-hand with one another. Since anorexia athletica is the newest disorder being recognized and researched, there is no official diagnosis of the disease. Although this disorder is most often recognized in competitive athletes, it can affect anyone with a preoccupation with weight, exercise and/or diet.