Behavioral Addiction: What You Need to Know

 Behavioral addiction is a non-substance addiction where rewards are completely not related to substances. The “psychotropic effect” that a behavioral addict gets is strictly induced by the users own biochemical processes that are activated through excessively doing whatever activity they may be addicted to. It is only recently that more information is being studied concerning such reward-seeking behaviors. 

Behavioral addiction includes many addictions such as compulsive shopping, pathological gambling, and shockingly even working addictions. To have a behavioral addiction, one must meet certain diagnostic criteria associated with dependence in regards to the behavior in question. In recent years, gambling addiction has even officially made its appearance in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV-TR (DSM-4-TR).

Many experts recognize gambling addictions however other forms of behavioral addictions are still being studied with great care to learn how to best assess, diagnose, and treatment plan for such individuals who may be suffering. Studies show that even though in substance abuse disorders, substances are known to directly affect neurotransmitter systems in the brain, in non-substance abuse addiction, these same systems are only indirectly affected. It seems that when a behavior is done in excess, it has the potential to lead to addiction because of one's biochemical processes and the reward achieved. 

Many scientific investigations and clinical experiences have been shown to back up these findings. Do you suffer from a behavioral disorder? If you do, have you talked about it with a professional or someone who is qualified to give a diagnosis? We would love for others to share their stories and share how they got help and how they finally beat their addiction!

If you are experiencing a behavioral addiction, know that you're not alone. Help is available whenever and where ever you need it, just reach out for it. 

Reference
Albrecht, U., Kirschner, N., Grusser, S. “Diagnostic Instruments for Behavioral Addiction; An Overview". GMS-Psycho-Social Medicine. (Website). 2007


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