A person can become addicted to a certain behavior, just like they can become addicted to a mood-altering chemical. This is called a process addiction, or a behavioral addiction. Addictions can manifest themselves in behaviors like gambling, sex, shopping, or internet use.
We all have brain circuitry that makes some behaviors like food and sex rewarding. In a healthy brain, these rewards have feedback mechanisms for satiety or 'enough.' In someone with addiction, the circuitry is dysfunctional such that the message to the individual becomes 'more." This leads to the pathological pursuit of rewards and/or relief through the use of substances and behaviors.
Process addictions are progressive and chronic diseases that require treatment. They affect all aspects of a person's life and affect the entire family.
Like chemical addictions, process addictions are treatable and a life of recovery is possible. Call us today at 712-234-2300 or 1-800-472-9018 to schedule an assessment if you, or someone you love, needs help.