What are Behavioral Addictions?

Behavioral addictions begin the same way that drug or alcohol addictions do; neurotransmitters and other natural chemicals will flood the brain whenever an addiction-prone or an individual that has an affinity to addiction engages in these activities. While most of the population can take part in these behaviors without becoming addicted, vulnerable people can find themselves craving and participating in the action at unhealthy levels. While it’s true that behavioral addictions don’t cause physical dependence like opiates or meth, people with a behavioral addiction will experience similar adverse consequences.

What makes a behavioral addiction so hard to treat is that these activities are deemed acceptable in society. For example, it’s incredibly difficult to abstain from using the internet because the internet is pervasive in modern society.

There are four distinct behavioral addictions that healthcare officials and addiction specialists currently recognize: Gambling, Gaming, Sex, and Internet.

Behavioral Addiction Treatment

Behavioral addictions are an addiction just like drug or alcohol addiction, as they are characterized by compulsive behavior that is based on reward, but they do not involve the use of substances. Some good examples of behavioral addictions are gambling or exercise. A person who gambles experiences the same compulsion to gamble that a drug addict experiences towards drugs and they even receive a sort of high from participating in the activity. This same thing goes for a person who is addicted to exercise. While this may sound like a good thing, being addicted to exercise can have a number of negative consequences on a person’s life, not to mention that the want to exercise is not based on improving their physicality, but rather is driven by a compulsion.

Behavioral addictions don’t display the same withdrawal symptoms you commonly see in drug and alcohol abuse. However, the emotional and mental symptoms are similar. These may transpire in an individual’s life as:

  • Guilt and shame
  • Lying
  • Denial
  • Missing work, school, or significant events
  • Fighting with friends and family
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Lack of self-care

Also, there are physical consequences to these behavioral addictions. For example, people with sex addiction may suffer from STIs, and internet and gaming addicts can pain in their hands and wrist, headaches, and suffer from neck and back pain. Psychological withdrawal symptoms are similar to those seen in drug addiction, including cravings, anxiety, and problems sleeping.

Sex Addiction Treatment

Sexual addiction isn’t as well known among the general public as its drug and alcohol counterparts, but it is an addiction that affects many people each year. Sexual addiction is characterized by compulsive engagement in sexual activity, regardless of the danger or negative consequences that may be involved.

A person who suffers from sexual addiction is not just having sex because they are enjoying it, but much like a drug addict or alcohol, they are compelled to do so by an uncontrollable urge that they cannot stop. A person who suffers from this sort of addiction needs to seek professional help so that they can get their lives back and learn to create new and healthy sexual habits.

If you think that you have a problem with an addiction and you believe that you need to seek treatment because of it, then call the professionals at Pinnacle Recovery today, at 1-833-360-2657 Our trained staff knows exactly what you are going through and what you need in order to finally overcome your addiction and achieve the life of recovery you have always wanted. Contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment programs.