What is behavioral addiction?

Behavioral addictions are a type of addiction in which the addict’s primary focus is on a certain behavior rather than substances. Behavioral addiction is also called process addiction.

These behaviors can include gambling, work, shopping, food, and even sex. Addicts may feel that they have no control over their actions while finding it difficult to stop participating in these activities.

The effects of behavioral addictions are as gruesome as that of substance addiction, and those who have them think of them as a hobby.

To avoid behavioral addictions, people should learn about their signals to know when they start tending towards one. Signals of an impending behavioral addiction include:

  1. Spending a lot of time engaging in an act or behavior without considering other important things to be done.
  2. Persistence even when you are experiencing physical or mental harm from the behavior.
  3. Developing emotional meltdown when you cannot get to perform a behavior.
  4. Need for secrecy and keeping it away from people to know.
  5. Experiencing difficulty cutting back despite having it in mind to stop.
  6. Having withdrawal symptoms like depression, mood swings, and emotional instability when trying to cut back.
  7. Developing disregard for schooling, work, family, and other things you should ordinarily care for to engage in the behavior more often.

Effects of behavioral addiction

There are both positive and negative effects of behavioral addiction. It is just that the downsides are way more than their upsides. For example, a person who is addicted to working will gain mastery in his line of work. However, behavioral addictions often tend to take a toll on the overall health and wellbeing of the addict.

Behavioral addicts often have problems relating to finances and relationships. People addicted to gambling and shopping would not have much to save and often time goes broke. Love and sex addicts will have problems maintaining relationships and keeping friendships.


Leave a Reply