Type of Addiction: Behavioral
What is the first thought that comes to mind when you hear addiction? You are probably thinking of someone who is addicted to a drug. So many kinds of addiction need to be learned and understood. Behavioral addiction is one of them.
What is behavioral addiction?
Behavioral addiction is a non-substance type of addiction. A person becomes dependent on and caves to the behavior. People addicted to gambling, shopping, sex, porn, exercise, and food are good examples of behavioral addictions. When you think of substance addiction, the body can grow dependent on the substance to function. Soon enough, they will become erratic without the drug. People with behavioral addiction will also feel the same effect without behavioral addiction. Something can trigger a power reinforcement in the brain and makes that person want to engage in that behavior more and more. It gives that person the "high" effect. If "feels" good. It takes the "pain" away.
For example, Lucy is on her way to work, and someone cuts her off on the road. Lucy is now feeling upset and frustrated. Lucy loves to shop and says that shopping makes her feel better. It takes her stress away. Our brain is wired to protect us. Since Lucy uses shopping as a feeling-good emotion, the brain will almost hand her the shopping sites. Since Lucy uses shopping as "this makes me happy, I feel less stress." It becomes an addiction. Lucy has to shop to feel better. No matter if her bills are due or if she has to buy food for the kids, she will shop instead of taking care of her priorities.
People with behavioral addiction will also go through withdrawals when trying to hold off. They can have trouble sleeping, social withdrawal, changes in their personality, irritability, and depression.
Do you have a Behavioral Addiction?
Behavioral addiction is as serious as drug addiction. It can start to control our lives, and people will lose everything and anything to do it. If you are in question, pay attention to what you do when trying to cope with your emotions. Do you spend most of your time engaging in a specific behavior? Is it on your mind day in and out? When not doing this activity, do you feel irritable or depressed? Do you continue to do the action regardless of the negative consequences? Do you neglect your family members, friends, and work? Do you no longer want to engage in activities that you once enjoyed? Do you feel low self-esteem or self-worth? Do you have poor physical health and lousy sleeping patterns?
Take the time and answer the questions above honestly. If you answered yes to most of the questions above, you might have a behavioral addiction.
Once you realize that you have a behavioral addiction, you will want to find some solutions that can help you. When getting help, usually, there will be some therapy involved. The most common treatments are EMDR, CBT, Hypnosis, and Talk therapy.
Understand going through therapy can feel like a rollercoaster. You have to give yourself the time and care to get better. Find your root cause and change your story to your liking. One day at a time, one step at a time.
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