Process addiction, frequently referred to as behavioral addiction, affects many Americans who are addicted, not to substances but to behaviors that are damaging or unhealthy. As with any addiction, an inability to stop, despite experiencing harm and negative life effects, is a major symptom that treatment is needed. At Peer Mental Wellness, we offer treatment for mental health conditions of all kinds, including process addictions, at our behavioral addiction treatment center in greater Los Angeles.
If you or someone you love struggles with addiction to a behavior, reach out to Peer Mental Wellness’s process addiction center by calling 714.844.5473 today. You can also submit our online form to connect with one of our staff. We can walk you through how process addiction treatment works and answer all your questions. Evidence-based, compassionate, professional behavioral addiction treatment in greater Los Angeles is available. Don’t wait. Reach out today.
What Is Process Addiction?
The similarities between substance addiction and process addiction are that they both involve compulsively pursuing behavior despite the harm it does. During active process addiction, compulsive behaviors, such as gambling, begin to get in the way of daily functioning, work, relationships, and mental and physical health.
The reward center in the brain functions differently in someone with an addiction—whether a substance addiction or a behavioral addiction. Similar to drug and alcohol addiction, process addiction can alter the structures in the brain responsible for memory, cognition, and mental health.
Symptoms of a process addiction include:
Thinking obsessively about or constantly being involved in a certain behavior
Escaping from reality, negative emotions, or mental health symptoms by engaging in the behavior
Continuing the activity or behavior despite negative effects to self and/or others
Going through psychological withdrawal if unable to engage in the activity
Getting the help you need will allow you to live free from addiction and establish a balanced, productive foundation for the future.
Examples of Process Addictions
Process addictions are treatable. They do not have to control your life. Below are some of the more common process, or behavioral, addictions that can be addressed in a behavioral addiction treatment center.
- Gambling or other high-risk behaviors are common process addictions. This kind of addiction involves persistently seeking the rush of neurochemicals produced in the brain during activities such as gambling, sky-diving, heli-skiing, or free-solo rock climbing.
- Shopping addiction has unfortunately become a punchline in the media, but it is very real. Shopping can be a form of behavioral self-medication for people who are lonely, anxious, or depressed. Like other process addictions, this one is linked to a lack of impulse control and can result in debt and financial hardship. Continuing to compulsively shop despite dangerous consequences means it is time to seek treatment.
- Technology addictions, such as video games and social media, can affect children and adults alike. Too much screen time can affect the growing brains of children and interfere with anyone’s circadian rhythms to the detriment of REM sleep. Mental health can decline quickly with this kind of addiction, and treatment is recommended.
If you are addicted to certain behaviors and cannot moderate your engagement despite negative consequences to yourself or others, consider seeking help at a process addiction treatment center.
What to Expect in a Process Addiction Treatment Center
There are evidence-based therapies that can treat a process addiction, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). In a process addiction treatment center, psychotherapists trained in addiction treatment will help you recognize your addiction, understand it and the factors that play into it, figure out your triggers, and learn how to control your compulsions via behavioral strategies.
You will likely be encouraged to learn and practice forms of mindfulness, such as meditation or breathing techniques. It has been shown that the support of a peer group can greatly enhance recovery from a behavioral addiction. Peers who understand what you are going through because they are as well can provide strength and accountability.