When a person repeatedly engages in a behaviour despite harm caused by it, it is referred to as behavioural addictions or process addictions. These are non-substance addictions, but many alcoholics or drug addicts have a strong tendency to develop these addictions.
Behavioural addictions could include:
- Gambling addiction
- Internet addiction
- Gaming addiction
- Eating disorders (overeating, bulimia and anorexia nervosa)
- Shopping addiction
- Kleptomania (impulsive stealing)
- Sex/ Porn addiction
Behavioural addictions have common traits:
- Preoccupation with the behaviour
- Inability to control the behaviour
- Increased tolerance to the behaviour – so the person indulges in more behaviour mor often to achieve the desired gratification
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms (such as irritability and restlessness) if the behaviour is stopped
- Experiencing adverse psychological consequences, such as depression or anxiety symptoms, when the individual stops the behaviour for any reason.
Hope Trust offers a combination of psychiatric assessments for accurate diagnosis, psychopharmacotherapy (medicines), psychological therapies such as CBT, motivational enhancement, 12 Steps and mindfulness, for addressing process addiction on an outpatient basis.