The topic of addiction commonly draws a person’s attention to things like drugs and alcohol. Though substance abuse continues to be one of the largest forms of addiction in the nation, vodka, tequila, marijuana, heroin, and opiates (to name a few) aren’t the only things a person can indulge in compulsively. Believe it or not, people can also have addictive behaviors. They feel a strong urge or desire to engage in activities despite their negative consequences on themselves, loved ones, career, or the community.
Just what are these behavioral addictions? Could you be suffering from such addictions yourself? And if you are, where can you go for treatment? There are agencies like Mission Harbor Treatment Center where participants can be treated for the addictive behaviors that are be described below:
A behavioral addiction you may have heard of before is gambling. When a person gambles, the brain reacts much like it would if they were abusing drugs or alcohol. The adrenaline rush they receive triggers the brain’s reward system. If you were suffering from a gambling addiction, you might experience symptoms or behaviors like lying about your activities, going broke to gamble, always trying to win back your money, stealing or committing crimes to gamble, or the inability to stop.
As natural as sexual activity is, it can become an addictive behavior. Chances are you’ve read or heard about a celebrity once or twice who has been sent to rehab to deal with their sex addiction. It’s important to point out that some people have a bigger sexual appetite than others, however, sex addiction is an entirely different scenario. When someone is addicted to sex they become preoccupied with urges, thoughts, and the dying need to act on those feelings despite the consequences. This may include excessive masturbation, constantly watching pornography, engaging in sex acts on the phone or through chat services, and more. In more extreme cases, it can also mean lots of sexual encounters with random people.
Can you really be addicted to the internet when society is currently reliant on digital technologies? The answer is yes. If you or someone you know has become so consumed with the internet that you stop engaging in regular activities, prefer to interact with people online than in person, start hiding your behaviors, develop a “second life” online, can’t go a second without being plugged in, start neglecting personal or professional responsibilities, without caring about any of the consequences that could follow, you may have an internet addiction.
Some say that shopping can be therapeutic, and it can be, but when done on a compulsive level, it can become an addiction. If you’ve become a shopaholic you may notice that you buy things for the sake of buying them, have tons of things in your home with tags still on them, get frustrated when someone talks about your shopping habits, you feel a rush when purchasing but suddenly feel low after the buy, you start hiding things, you feel anxious when you don’t shop, or you’re suffering financially and continue to shop.
Food or Eating
You hear people call themselves “foodies” all the time. Yet it is one thing to be able to appreciate great cuisine and quite another to want to eat constantly despite the health complications. If you’re addicted to food you cannot control your need to eat. When eating junk foods or foods high in fats, sugar, or salt, you feel a general high. The consequences can be severe including weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, self-esteem issues, relationship problems, and even social embarrassment. If you eat even after you’re full, binge eats and feel guilty, snack constantly throughout the day, start hiding food and snacks, or can’t control your eating then you may have an addiction.
Though some of these behaviors may seem quite normal, when done on a compulsive level they can become an addiction. If you or someone you know feelings a dying urge to participate in any of the above activities despite the trouble it may bring in their lives or cause to their health, you need to seek treatment. Much like substance abuse, many of these behaviors are carried out as a way of feeling high, masking overwhelming emotions, or numbing the pain. The only way to recover is to get helping to stop these behaviors and learning new methods for coping. Find a rehab or mental health treatment facility that’s willing to work with you today for a brighter tomorrow.
Technology is nearly touching every aspect of our lives, and addiction is no exception. Below are some samples on addiction related apps: