Do Behavioral Addictions Exist?

Do Behavioral Addictions Exist?A behavioral addiction is characterized by continuously engaging in a particular behavior, even after it causes severe consequences. For instance, a Canadian may have a behavioral addiction if she continues to engage in a behavior, even after it causes physical, mental, emotional or financial problems. Unfortunately, these conditions are difficult to identify, because they are not addictions to any substance, such as drugs or alcohol. It is an uncontrollable impulse to repeat a knowingly destructive behavior, because the behavior offers some temporary pleasure or escape from an internal discomfort. Behavioral addictions are also referred to as impulse control disorders that are becoming increasingly recognized as a treatable addiction. If you or a Canadian loved one suffers from one of these issues, then seek professional help as soon as possible to recover.

What Are Behavioral Addictions?

The following behaviors are considered addictive:

  • Gambling
  • Eating
  • Sex
  • Using the internet
  • Playing videogames
  • Work
  • Exercise
  • Religious obsessions
  • Shopping

These processes become addictive because of how they affect the brain. Receptors in the brain respond to a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which releases from eating and sex the same way it does from drugs and alcohol. Dopamine is released in the brain during these pleasurable experiences, which causes Canadians to seek that activity more often to relive the resulting pleasure. Behavioral addictions are often referred to as soft addictions, because they generally do not pose a serious health risk or potential for disease. Rather, they mainly have adverse effects on time and productivity.

Behavior addictions often lead to or co-occur with substance abuse, because they have similar underlying causes. Both forms of addiction commonly result from underlying mental illness or past trauma, such as physical or sexual abuse. Depression and other mental illnesses commonly initiate behavior and substance addictions. Many professional treatment facilities offer substance and behavior addiction treatments.

Treatment for Behavioral and Drug Addictions

Addiction treatment will commonly consist of the following therapies:

  • An assessment that diagnoses mental health issues and other issues that may contribute to the addiction
  • Therapy that helps patients recognize problems that trigger cravings, and ways to respond to cravings
  • Group therapy that allows Canadian patients to hear and share experiences with other addicts and to develop a support network during behavioral and substance abuse
  • Therapy that consists of creative expression, like yoga or art, as well as breathing exercises that invite relaxation and promote self-control

If certain behaviors damage your career, personal relationships and financial status, then these behaviors can be addictive. If people continue to engage in those behaviors despite the consequences, then they need professional therapy to recover. For Canadians struggling with behavioral and drug addictions, treatment at a licensed rehab facility can help, as many centers specialize in treating both problems at the same time.

Behavioral Addiction Treatment for Canadians

If you or a Canadian loved one struggles with behavior and drug addictions, then please call our toll-free helpline right now. Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24 hours a day to help you find a treatment program that will work for you. Begin your road to recovery now and call us today.