Sports participation is a highly visible aspect of 21st-century life as more people dive into sports for recreation and competitive leagues. It builds health, self-discipline, strong character, and promotes teamwork. Many benefits can be found psychologically and physically speaking but it can be detrimental if it becomes addictive. Find out why sports addiction can be just as challenging to recover from as substance addiction.
Sports Addiction Defined
Most people do not think of addiction when it comes to sports. Usually what comes to mind is drinking or drug use of some kind. Exercise is not a common addiction in people’s minds. When you think about it, athletes are more likely to struggle with addiction to sports but modestly competitive athletes and recreational athletes alike are all susceptible. Exercising triggers “happy hormones” to go into your body and you start to feel really good. This “high” can be habit-forming, like with any addiction, and can get you hooked. External factors are contributing to addiction as well so it is important to take it seriously and not overlook the risks and dangers.
Symptoms of Addiction
Sports addiction symptoms mirror some of the same ones as with alcohol and drug use. It harms the body and depletes it of proper nutrients. It can become an obsession for people who do not take time to recover from injuries and who just want to keep training and performing, regardless of how much it hurts the body. The risk of heart attacks and osteoporosis increases as people put themselves at risk for injury and harm. Some of the symptoms are the inability to quit doing the activity, doing it even when it harms the person and seeking any opportunity to do the activity in the person’s spare time.
Why it Matters
As with any addiction, it takes time to recognize that it is happening and seek help. You might not think exercising a lot is really detrimental to your health but it can become that way when it is the only focus of attention. Many people over-exert themselves and end up harming their bodies which has life long complications. There is also the risk of developing addiction to other things such as painkillers and opiates to deal with the issues that come with over-exertion. Highly talented people are often putting themselves into dangerous positions. There is a fine line to tip-toe across which has the potential for both great achievement and great self-harm. The trick is to work on building positive focus on the things that make exercise and sport so engaging while not getting so caught up in it that you not only don’t enjoy it anymore, you may be putting yourself at more risk now and in the future to continue the obsessive working out, exercising, or giving forth of energy into a sport.
Oceanfront values achievement in sports and athletics but it can come with a price. If you are struggling with addiction you can’t stop on your own, there is hope. We provide space to heal from addiction and find the underlying root cause. We will help you with therapeutic support and intervention that is designed with your individual situation in mind. Call us to find out how we can help you get started.