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10 Compulsive Disorders Teens Suffer From

According to the National Library of Medicine, compulsive disorders include a broad range of conditions that are marked by uncontrollable urges to do specific behaviors, and a preoccupation of thought for those behaviors. In other words, compulsive disorders are addictions to behaviors. These are very real, and very damaging, medical conditions. Here are 10 compulsive disorders that teens commonly suffer from.

1. Internet Compulsion

Internet compulsion involves the uncontrollable urge to be online. Many times this is combined with other compulsive disorders. Some of the dangers of internet compulsion are:

  • lack of sleep,
  • declining grades, and
  • disconnection with friends and family.

These dangers make internet compulsion a very real threat to mental and physical health in teens.

2. Social Media Compulsion

teen compulsive disorders

Many teens struggle with social media and Internet compulsion.

Similar to internet compulsion, social media compulsion is very real among teens. In the digital age, many teens gravitate to social media, to the detriment of themselves and those around them.

3. Compulsive Exercise Disorder

Compulsive Exercise Disorder is most common in teen boys, and stems from poor body image and a desire to “bulk up” with muscle. However, the damage this causes to the body, along with the fact that it also sometimes includes steroid abuse, makes compulsive exercise very dangerous.

4. Compulsive Sexual Disorder

According to an article in the journal ‘Psychiatry’, published in the National Library of Medicine, society’s acceptance of sexual behaviors and expressions has led to a dramatic increase in sexual compulsions, also known as sex addiction. In teens this translates to risky behaviors that threaten their health and future.

5. Compulsive Self-Injury

Also known as “cutting”, this compulsion involves making small incisions in oneself, typically on the arms or legs. In teens, it is thought to be related to poor body image and social standing. If left untreated, cutting escalates into self-mutilation or suicidal actions in many cases.

6. Compulsive Eating

Compulsive eating is one of three compulsive disorders known as eating disorders. Also known as binge-eating disorder, it is where people eat to the point of making themselves sick, and still cannot stop. According to the National Institute on Mental Health, eating disorders of all kinds pose a serious risk to teens, and compulsive eating is no exception.

7. Anorexia

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder common in teens with poor body image. It is marked by an obsession with being thin, and involves starving yourself to the point of emaciation, which can cause a whole host physical problems, and even death.

8. Bulimia

Bulimia nervosa is another eating disorder that is typically related to poor body image. However, it is different in that it involves binge-eating, followed by purging through a number of activities, including:

  • self-induced vomiting,
  • excessive laxative or diuretic use, and
  • excessive exercise.

These activities, along with the disorder itself, make bulimia very detrimental to the health of the sufferer.

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9. Pornographic Compulsions

Pornographic compulsions are often included in internet compulsions, because of the prevalence of pornographic material online. However, this disorder specifically deals with a compulsion to view pornographic images, and, as such is different. Many teens suffer from this, possibly due to the hormonal changes of puberty.

10. Compulsive Cleaning

Compulsive cleaning is perhaps the most prevalent of all compulsive disorders. It sometimes stems from an irrational fear of germs, or a belief of personal uncleanliness due to guilt or social anxiety.

No one should have to live with the symptoms of a compulsive disorder. There are a number of treatment options available, and all research points to early treatment for the most favorable outcomes. If you, or a teen you know is suffering from a compulsive disorder, get help today. There are treatment centers available across the country. We can help you find one that is right for your teen. Call us at 800-721-8114.

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