When someone hears the word ‘addiction’, they typically think of drugs and alcohol. A less commonly known term is a process addiction, although this can be just as harmful and destructive to a person’s life. The focus of process addictions includes gambling, shopping, video games, pornography, eating, and sex.
What Addictions All Have in Common
An addiction to alcohol or drugs can begin innocently enough, with experimentation and casual usage. Process addictions typically start the same way, with an individual enjoying occasional engagement in video gaming or gambling activities. Addiction involves activating the brain’s reward pathways, triggering a pleasurable feeling and a sense of euphoria. This is where the trouble can begin. The person seeks to achieve that feeling repeatedly until it becomes addictive behavior.
Process Addictions as Avoidant Behavior
Many people believe that addiction is the only problem. They think that once the behaviors are addressed, the desire for it will go away. The reality is that the person is often using the addiction as a solution for their actual problems. For example, if a person is dealing with depression, anxiety, or trauma, they may find that occupying their mind with shopping, food consumption, or sex helps alleviate their pain. The same can be said about the use of alcohol or drugs.
When an activity becomes a process addiction, the person discovers that their initial problems have not been solved. In fact, their life issues have now only become worse. A skilled clinician and treatment plan can help determine any mental health issues behind the need to self-medicate. Recovering people must work on mental health issues and process addictions simultaneously. This combined approach helps close the door on needing the rush of the addictive behaviors because the real healing has begun.
Addictions to drugs and alcohol are well-known, but process addictions are just as damaging. While activities like shopping, gambling, sex, and food consumption might be casually engaged by most people, many find that they become addictive in nature and spiral out of control. Just as an addict who abuses a substance soon loses control of their lives, those dealing with a process addiction often find themselves hopelessly out of control. Valiant Living offers a professional treatment program for process addictions that allows you to address any accompanying mental health issues and life stressors while removing the need for addictive behaviors. Our men-only setting offers a small group program designed specifically to assist with your needs. We offer private and semi-private rooms and a team of treatment professionals that understand what you are going through and are prepared to help you address your process addiction. Call us today at (303) 952-5035 and get started on a new you!