Behavioral Addiction

Behavioral addiction is the least talked about and the least understood when compared to substance addiction problems. This type of addiction corresponds with the same short-term reward sensation that follows substance abuse. Addictive actions, such as sex, playing video games, and even excessive buying can take control of a person’s entire life, ruining their relationships and finances, just as with a substance addiction. The most popular theory is that this form of addiction falls in line on the spectrum of an impulsive-compulsive disorder. In any case, this behavioral addiction or behavioral abuse can be just as life-damaging as any substance addiction or abuse problem.

5 Most Common Behavioral Addictions

    • Gambling is probably one of the most common behavioral addictions you’ll hear about. Research suggests that gambling lights up the same parts of the brain as some drug addictions. Gambling addiction is the excessive need to continue the risky endeavor of playing the odds. It can even get to the point where you lose your car, home, family, and still continue with the habit.
    • Sex addiction is another common example. The immediate reward-based pathology of sexual addiction forces addicts to overlook risky situations, such as possible sexually transmitted diseases and infidelity, for the act of sex.
    • Shopping addiction can be one of the most damaging types of behavioral addiction as it negatively impacts your financial situation to the point of destitution. This will often correspond with negative emotions, such as feelings of loneliness or sadness. People that suffer from shopping addiction will try to fill this void with material objects, even if they don’t have the money to pay for it.

Internet addiction is a new and widely growing problem. Internet addiction is simply the need to use the internet at all times. Studies suggest that an internet addict occupies up to 11 hours of their day on the web. This will often negatively impact work and social life, as with most abuse and addiction problems. An early warning sign of this is severe debt from nothing other than shopping items.

Behavioral addiction is often treated like a substance addiction problem. It will require behavioral theory and group counseling to overcome. A 12-Step program has proven to be the most effective in treating behavioral addiction. Please contact a rehab center near you for more information.