Many people have difficulty understand what a behavioral addiction actually entails, or how to identify them. Behavioral addictions, or non-substance abuse addictions, are recurring actions or compulsions where an individual participates in a particular activity, despite the negative effects it is having on their relationships, finances, health, or mental state. Some common behavioral addictions are gambling, food, computers, pornography, sex, the internet, video games, work, and exercise, “cutting”, and shopping. Although some people believe that behavioral addictions are not as serious as substance abuse addictions or do not think of them in the same realm, behavioral addictions do tend to have the same ultimate negative effects and show a similar pattern.
Individuals who suffer from a substance abuse disorders also commonly have one or more behavioral addictions, and vice versa. Nearly 90% of Americans are exposed to at least one form of addiction in their lives, whether it is a behavioral or a substance addiction. If you suspect someone may be displaying signs of a behavioral addiction, there are a few key things to look for. Most importantly, if an individual is still repeating a behavior despite being aware of its negative consequences, they may have a behavioral addiction. If they are being secretive or covering up their actions, or putting their relationships, job, or finances in jeopardy, they may need help. At Passages, we treat individuals dealing with behavioral, substance, or co-occurring addictions and disorders.