There’s more than one type of addiction

A process addiction (also known as a behavioral addiction) is different from substance abuse in that the addiction centers around a behavior or process.  The most common process addictions are sex and love addiction, food addiction, shopping, gambling, and/or video game or internet addiction.  At Resolute Recovery, we define an addiction or an addictive behavior broadly and without judgement – it’s anytime something is out of balance in your life.

The “high” from the process or behavior comes from the reward the brain receives.  Anything that gives us that extra boost has the potential for overuse.  However, an addiction is a symptom and a coping mechanism for something more.  It is an escape from pain – sometimes a painful event, or a number of events, from the past – but often the pain of missing key coping skills.  The high obtained from using is a coping skill that can be replaced with a new set of skills with more benefit and less cost.  Treatment and support are vital to this process.  Resolute Recovery can ease the process by customizing a plan for you or your family.

I’m lonely and miss the connection of my partner/friends/kids/family/colleagues.

I want something different but I’m not sure I can do it and I don’t even know where to start.

Only you can make the determination if you are struggling with an addiction or a process addiction more specifically, but it’s important also to listen to people you trust in your life.  These trusted others help us see our blind spots and often recognize patterns before we do.  However, there are some essential questions to ask yourself to determine if you’re living your best life:

  • Am I happy and satisfied with how things are going?
  • Is it possible there’s a better way but I don’t know what is it?
  • Am I getting the biggest bang for my efforts in life?
  • Is this the way I want things to go?
  • If I could change something, would it be something big?
  • Is there something I’m doing that’s just not worth it anymore?

Types of process addiction

Below is a more complete list of process or behavioral addictions:

  • Intermittent explosive disorder (compulsive aggressive and assaultive acts)
  • Kleptomania (compulsive stealing)
  • Pyromania (compulsive setting of fires)
  • Gambling
  • Food (Restricting, Bingeing, Purging, Cycles of Each)
  • Sex and Partners of Sex Addicts
  • Love addiction and/or Codependency
  • Pornography (attaining, viewing, creating)
  • Using computers / the internet
  • Playing video games / games on the phone
  • Working
  • Exercising
  • Cutting/Self Harm
  • Shopping

Are you ready to start the conversation?  We’re here for you.  Let’s talk about the type of needs and requirements you have to customize your best treatment today.


Also published on Medium.