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Process Addiction Information


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Process addictions are very similar to drug or alcohol addictions. They are different in a sense that they are addictions to activities. The behaviors can be just as difficult to deal with and overcome as substance addictions. In fact, research currently states that the brain is impacted in the same way as in drug and alcohol addiction.

What are Process Addictions?

Certain mental health conditions can lead to process addictions. In many cases, these types of behavioral addictions form as a way to cope with other issues.

It's important to recognize that process addictions can be just as serious as substance abuse problems as well. They are usually developed because of some underlying issue that needs treatment.

At NorthPoint Washington, we understand that there are many different types of addictions. Sometimes, addictions involve substances like drugs or alcohol. Other times, they involve certain behaviors. The type of addiction you're suffering from is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. The most important thing you should be thinking about right now is recovery.

Maybe you think you have a process addiction, but you're not really sure. You need to know more about the different process addictions and what they are. You will find all the information you need about that right here. In this section, we'll be covering many different types of process addictions. Our hope is that you will gain some clarity into your own situation. More than anything, we want you to get the help you need.

Type of Process Addictions

Process addictions are not all the same, although they do operate in similar ways in the brain. There are several different types of process addictions. We'll be going over them in greater detail in this section.

Some of the types of process addictions include:

Gambling Addiction

A gambling addiction can sometimes be difficult to understand. It's also hard to realize the difference between the actual addiction and someone who just enjoys it. When someone has a gambling addiction, it threatens to consume his or her life. It causes financial strife, relationship strains and a host of other problems. If these issues are not addressed, and the behavior is allowed to continue, it can be problematic.

Gambling Addiction

Shopping Addiction

Sometimes, people will use the term “shopaholic” loosely. However, shopping addiction is a very real problem for many people. It can cause financial issues and relationship problems. A shopping addiction is a strong compulsion to spend money. It causes an intense high that people want to experience again and again.

Shopping Addiction

Sex Addiction

Sex addiction really isn't about sex. It is often associated with a traumatic event that happened during childhood. Someone who has a sex addiction feels compelled to act out sexually. He or she may frequently watch pornography, have sex with multiple partners, or engage in other sexual behaviors. Sexual behavior that causes remorse, that's unable to be controlled, and that interferes with daily life is sex addiction.

Sex Addiction

Love Addiction

A love addict is someone who is constantly searching for someone to find wholeness with. This is often mistaken for those who are simply looking for a life partner. For someone with a love addiction, they are compelled to look for that “special someone.” They are more enamored with the idea of falling in love than with an actual relationship.

Love Addiction

Gaming Addiction

Gaming addiction is becoming more and more common. It can involve video or computer games, and is accompanied by a deep desire to constantly play. Research shows that the same receptors in the brain are affected by games as those affected by substances.

Gaming Addiction

Phone Addiction

Many have actually compared phone addictions to gambling addictions. The intensity of them is the same. Someone with a phone addiction may feel lost without his or her phone. Using the phone is something that becomes a compulsive behavior.

Phone Addiction

Social Media Addiction

Social media addiction involves feeling compelled to use some form of social media online. This individual may have multiple social media accounts on many different sites. Preoccupation with social media regularly takes over this individual's life.

Social Media Addiction

Internet Addiction

A few years ago, Internet addiction may have seemed very strange. However, it has become very common. An Internet addiction is present when being online becomes essential to daily living. It actually interferes with normal functioning.

Internet Addiction

Food Addiction

A food addiction is basically a desire to eat certain types of food. This mainly applies to unhealthy or “junk” food. In many ways, food addiction is very similar to substance abuse.

Food Addiction

Cutting and Self-Harm Compulsive Behaviors

Cutting or harming oneself are compulsive behaviors that can easily become addictive. People with this condition are usually seeking to relieve some sort of internal, emotional pain.

Cutting and Self-Harm Compulsive Behaviors

Process Addiction Vs. Substance Abuse: What are the Differences and Similarities?

There is only real difference between a process disorder and a substance abuse disorder. It is that one involves using some type of substance internally and the other does not. Otherwise, the two are very similar. Both of them involve continuing the same actions over and over despite the negative consequences of doing so.

The DSM-V currently does not classify process addictions as “actual” addictions. However, it is clear that there is a very significant parallel between them. This is largely because of the impact they both have on the brain. The same receptors are affected, which indicates that they are very similar in how they manifest. Similarly, the criteria for both types of addictions often overlap. That means recovery must take place in the same way.

Getting Help for Your Process Addiction

If you have a process addiction, you need to know that help is available for you. This is not something you need to suffer through on your own. You might be feeling ashamed of what you're going through. You may be afraid to talk with your friends and family about your struggles. Please know that these feelings are completely normal.

At NorthPoint Washington, we offer help for process addictions. Our treatment program is designed to meet you where you are. The targeted methods we use will pinpoint your exact needs. We'll design a treatment plan that will personalize your experience. This will give you a much better chance of recovery. Also, if you have any underlying issues that need to be addressed, we can help with that too.

Are you interested in learning more about process addictions, or do you need help recovering? No matter what your needs are, we're here for you. Please contact us today.