Are These Fifteen Behaviors Addictions or Compulsions?

Are These Fifteen Behaviors Addictions or Compulsions?

By Chris Bisogni 04/08/14

The word "addiction" gets thrown around a lot these days—anything from sex to eating dirt—but what's the difference between an actual addiction and a compulsive behavior?

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Exercise

Compulsive exercise, such as repeating the same routine despite illness, injury or outside commitments (such as work) can be seen as an addiction. The release of endorphins into the system can be one of the many reasons for repeated exercise, as can a strong desire to get fit and “look good”. Other motivations can be a desire to win or be better than the rest. It can be treated. Verdict: Addiction

Ice chewing

Known as pagophagia (and is also a form of Pica), that affects about two percent of American males ages 18 and older as well as 16 percent of females between ages 16 and 19 (according to The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The reasons are varied, a nervous habit, the love for the noise and crunch of ice, or more likely, an iron deficiency. Equalizing the iron in the system has been known to eradicate the condition. Verdict: Addiction