Process addictions - compulsion comes in many forms

Addiction can occur in many forms. Addiction is often characterised by a physical dependence that results in withdrawal symptoms when not met, but behavioural addictions can occur with negative consequences in a person’s life without some of the physical symptoms experienced by those who experience substance use.

A behavioural addiction, or ‘process addiction’, is a behaviour that is compulsive in nature for an individual. The individual may find the behaviour rewarding psychologically or physically, but later feel guilt, remorse or overwhelmed by the consequences. 

Process addictions can include, but are not limited to:

  • Sex and love
  • Shopping
  • Gambling
  • Gaming
  • Food
  • Exercise 

Almost everyone engages in some of the activities listed above to a certain degree, and may even enjoy the compulsive, often rewarding side of this behaviour - but this is not always classified as an addiction. Naturally then, spotting the difference between a habit, and a process or behavioural addiction, can be tricky. Particularly as it could involve something as socially acceptable as shopping or gaming, or as positive, in essence, as exercise.

But this is where talking to others who may be experiencing, or starting to notice similar problems, could be key. Not only to share your own thoughts and experiences, but to learn from and identify with others who are asking, or have asked themselves the same questions in the past.

Our Forum is the ideal place to ask a question or join a conversation, and potentially learn that crucial little bit more about how process or behavioural addictions affect others.

If due to a behaviour you struggle with a mental or physical health problem, an inability to stop the behaviour, negative consequences in relationships or work or anything else that impacts your life, things can get better.

If you believe that you, or someone you love, are struggling with a process addiction, get in touch with us and we can signpost you to support. 

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01642 351976