Addictions are a menace that families are struggling to combat. Behavioral addiction is a form of addiction which is as severe as drug and substance dependence. It’s normal to get hooked to a hobby or a particular activity, but a person suffering from behavioral addiction engages in the activity repeatedly and can’t resist the urge to continue, thus leading to negative consequences.
Pathological gambling is one of the most prevalent behavioral addictions. It affects between 1–3% of the adults in America, according to ScienceDirect. Other forms of behavioral addictions include internet, TV, shopping, food, impulsive stealing and sex..
What You Should Know About Behavioral Addiction
Anyone can be ardently absorbed in an interest. This desire to engage in a specific activity can be described as enthusiasm. On the other hand, behavioral addiction is the strong drive to repeat an action which you find to be pleasurable despite its effects on your personal health and day to day life. The American Addiction Centers website gives a great addiction definition.
This problem affects numerous people, and it can start at any age. The current advancements in technology have further fuelled the problem. One can now place bets on your smartphone, play online video games at the comfort of your home, order food online, and unhealthily indulge in many other activities using the internet.
Factors That Contribute To Behavioral Addiction
Different factors can lead to behavioral addictions. These include personality, substance abuse, and genetics. There are high chances of you suffering from addiction if a parent or sibling suffers from one, according to a study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Each person who struggles with an addiction has triggers that stimulate them to indulge in the destructive habit. Some of the triggers are frustration, peer pressure, boredom, and emotional and physical pain.
Signs and Symptoms of a Behavioral Addiction
Knowing the exact moment to call a particular behavior addiction is not always easy. It begins with being preoccupied with the behavior, gradually losing the ability to control yourself, becoming tolerant of the problem, which eventually develops into an addiction.
Behavioral addiction shares some of the same emotional and mental symptoms that are prevalent in substance abuse. These include guilt, denial, neglecting work or school, conflict with loved ones, lack of sleep, isolation, and loss of interest in other activities. One can also feel depressed, anxious, and irritable if you attempt to stop the habit. Some people depend on the behavior to cope with emotions.
Behavioral addiction treatment is quite different from that of substance abuse as some addictions are complex to tackle, such as overeating as we all need to eat. Therefore, most treatment methods are focused on rehabilitation and recovery instead of total abstinence. The most used approach is the residential treatment method, which helps to tackle the root of the problem. It includes the 12-step program, cognitive behavior therapy, and motivational enhancement to evoke change and assist the individual in turning a new leaf.
Other treatments that can help one to break free from addiction include one-on-one counseling, continuous outpatient therapy, and connecting with understanding peers. To accelerate recovery during the treatment process, you can also take up a fulfilling activity like playing an instrument, painting, exercising, or participating in outdoor games. Finding support is critical when a person is going through treatment.
Combating behavioral addictions doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are many treatment options available to help addicted individuals to fight the temptation, to start practicing moderation, and to cease the habit. Adapting a multi-pronged approach to tackle addiction is a sure way to help you break free from destructive behavior.