Talk to people about addiction, and they visualize someone abusing alcohol or pain pills. However, few have heard of behavioral addiction. It’s a situation where someone struggles with specific behaviors in the same way someone else experiences substance abuse. It still requires treatment at addiction treatment centers. Do you fall into this category?
What’s a Behavioral Addiction?
A good example is gambling addiction. Almost everybody who’s lost some money while gambling will try to win it back. However, many know when it’s time to quit. That said, someone with a behavioral problem wouldn’t be able to stop.
They’ll gamble away the rent money to recover their initial losses. Some feel the compulsion to enter a casino whenever they pass one. Their high comes from the action of gambling rather than from a drug. Gambling results in the dopamine glut.
There are also other behavioral addictions. They include shopping, sex, internet use, tattoos, or gaming. “Do I have a behavioral addiction?” you wonder. It depends on whether you experience withdrawal symptoms or problems when you don’t engage in the behavior.
Symptoms of Behavioral Addictions
Therapists at addiction treatment centers routinely work with good people who can’t help themselves when it comes to certain behaviors. Almost all think about the behavior unless they actively engage in it. Most importantly, the action becomes a coping mechanism; a good example is “retail therapy.” Many will put the behavior before family, hobbies, or social activities.
Frequently, people try to hide their addiction. They’ll cover up how much they spent. They might try to borrow money to cover gambling debts. Some go to great lengths to hide their activities from friends and family members.
“Do I have a behavioral addiction that responds well to treatment?” Yes, you do. Rehab facilities are the ideal venues for getting help with this type of addiction. There are treatments for the emotions you struggle with as well as the behaviors. Examples of care approaches include:
- Psychotherapy for depression or anxiety that creates triggers for the actions
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy as a tool for undoing unhealthy impulsivity in your activities
- Dialectical behavior treatment that helps you develop emotional regulation
- Relationship counseling, which allows you to open up to loved ones about your condition
- Meditation that helps you manage your breathing and stress level at will
- Experiential therapies that focus on self-awareness development and self-expression
After program graduation, you benefit from 12 Step or non-12 Step program attendance. This is a support group setting where you practice peer accountability. Others help you stay accountable and prevent a recurrence of behavioral addiction.
Although relapse is possible, going to support group meetings significantly boosts your ability to stay clean.
Getting the Help You Need for a Behavioral Addiction
You don’t have to continue hiding behavior that you wish you could control. With the help of therapists, you have the opportunity to get back in control. Connect with the caring experts at Promises Behavioral Health today. Dial 844.875.5609 now while you’re thinking about it.