Process addictions, also known as behavioral addictions, are compulsive behaviors that involve using a particular action or behavior to feel better at the moment. While addictions to drugs or alcohol are among the most well-known types of addictive behavior, process addictions can be equally disruptive to living a healthy life. Process addictions often include activities such as gambling, shopping, exercise, playing video games, or sex, but can consist of any activity that becomes compulsive or obsessive. A process addiction treatment program uses many of the same approaches used to treat substance use disorders but also addresses the underlying behavioral issues.
At Virtue Recovery Killeen, we understand the complexity of process addictions. Our process addiction treatment program incorporates counseling services and behavioral therapy to focus on the underlying issues related to process addiction.
Understanding Process Addictions
Process addictions are more than just indulging in an enjoyable activity. Instead, these compulsive behaviors are used to cope with life’s struggles and difficult emotions in an unhealthy way. Like substance use disorders, process addictions often stem from underlying trauma or mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical in your brain involved in pleasure and motivation, is produced when engaging in activities involving risk or reward, such as gambling. The dopamine rush associated with these behaviors can be so strong that it becomes necessary to continue the behavior in order to feel the same level of pleasure and can form the basis of a dependency or addiction.
Process addictions can take many forms, including but not limited to:
- Excessive exercise
- Video games
- Internet or online activities
- Sex or porn addiction
These behaviors on their own are not inherently unhealthy. Still, when they become difficult to stop, or the behavior is disrupting or controlling your life, then it’s time to look into process addiction treatment.
Signs You’d Benefit from Process Addiction Treatment
Process addictions can be difficult to recognize initially. Simply liking to shop or relax after work with video games doesn’t necessarily mean that you are addicted. However, examine the following signs or symptoms; if any are present, it may be time to consider process addiction treatment:
- Feeling irritated when you can’t engage in the activities
- Engaging in the activities more often or for longer periods of time than intended
- The activities are causing financial, physical, and emotional problems in your life
- Feeling a need to increase the intensity of the activities to get the same level of pleasure, like betting more or buying more expensive items
- Having intense cravings or thoughts about engaging in the activity
- Neglecting responsibilities or losing interest in other activities because of the addiction
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, a process addiction treatment program can make a difference.
Our Process Addiction Treatment Program
At Virtue Recovery Killeen, our process addiction treatment program is crafted to meet your individual needs and goals. Behavioral therapy is an integral part of the addiction treatment process. It’s used to identify and understand the root causes behind the behavior and look at how to substitute healthy behaviors in place of addictive behaviors. We also offer counseling services to address any underlying or co-occurring mental health issues that may be a factor in your process addiction.
Our program is designed to help you better understand the behavior and learn healthier coping skills. While the recovery process can be challenging, our compassionate team is ready to support you every step of the way.