Often, when people talk about addiction in the United States, they refer to the abuse of drugs or alcohol. And rightly so — substance abuse continues to claim thousands of lives each year. However, healthcare experts are beginning to understand more about another form of addiction: behavioral addiction.
Behavioral addictions, like substance abuse issues, prompt a physiological response in the brain. Certain behaviors, such as gambling or sex, become the center of a person’s universe.
The dangerous fact is that recognizing a behavioral addiction is not like recognizing a substance use addiction. The consequences are more subtle. But make no mistake: Behavioral addictions can destroy families too.
The good news is there is such a thing as behavioral addiction treatment. Find out more by contacting Georgia Addiction Treatment Center today.
What Are Behavioral Addictions?
A behavioral addiction involves an unhealthy focus or obsession with a certain behavior or activity. We all have our interests, but someone with a behavioral addiction restructures their lives around this activity. And they do this despite the troubles it may cause in their lives. Maybe they experience legal or financial trouble or friction in relationships. They may lose their jobs or fail at school. Yet, the person continues in his or her behavior.
Researchers are coming to realize the extent of potential behavioral addictions. Gambling, sex, and the Internet offer a few examples, but it can also extend to shopping, smartphone use, social media, video game playing, or even just spending money. The deeper the problem, the more likely you are to require behavioral addiction treatment.
Symptoms of Behavioral Addictions
One of the big challenges of behavioral addiction is figuring out when something has gone wrong. Unlike substance abuse, behavioral addictions may not produce noticeable physical symptoms.
However, there are some clear signals of behavioral addictions, and it’s important to know the kinds of things to look for if someone you love seems to be struggling. Some of these signs include:
- Everything in their life revolves around the behavioral issue
- The individual is failing to live up to his or her obligations at home, work, or school
- Things that used to give pleasure are ignored
- Financial irresponsibility
- Isolation from friends and family
- Troubles sleeping
- Making excuses that the behavior is for “anxiety relief”
If you see these signs in yourself or a loved one, reach out today for help.
Treatment for Behavioral Addictions
Behavior as an addiction is a relatively new concept. Treatment is evolving too, but involves a common set of principles, whether your addiction is to gambling, sex, or something else.
Behavioral addiction treatment requires therapy — sometimes, more than one form. It might include one-on-one sessions or group therapy sessions. The goal of therapy is to help you figure out why you’ve focused on these behaviors and learn how to develop healthier coping skills.
If the underlying drive to act comes from some other troubling emotion or experience, it might be possible to help with medication — an antidepressant, anti-anxiety medication, or another drug. It simply depends on who you are and what your circumstances are. Discussing family issues is also pertinent.
Addressing Behavioral Addictions at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center
You don’t have to accept a behavioral addiction as a part of your life. You can get help. Reach out to Georgia Addiction Treatment Center for behavioral addiction treatment. We are an outpatient treatment center that provides treatment and support for substance abuse and process addictions as well as co-occurring disorders. Our clinical staff has decades of experience in the addiction field and is ready to work to resolve your behavioral addiction. Treatment works. If you or someone close to you is struggling with a behavioral addiction, contact Georgia Addiction Treatment Center. Reach out today by calling Georgia Addiction Treatment Center at 855.952.3546 to learn more and schedule an initial appointment.