Most addictions are easy to recognize. Some substance is put into the body and physical effects can be felt. This substance becomes necessary to function in some manner. However, some addictions are not about substances, but about behaviors. These can include, but are not limited to gambling, sex, technology, and even food. The difference in some behavioral addictions and drug or alcohol addictions is you cannot always fully avoid a behavioral addiction, it can be hard to abstain completely from certain behaviors. Some of the more common behavioral addictions will be described below with options for treatments.
Gambling is a common behavioral addiction. Those addicted to gambling become consumed with gambling, winning, and trying to recoup losses. A single win can fuel the addiction for a long time. Even as those who lose much more than winning will continue to gamble for the thrill. Many people with a gambling addiction will lose massive amounts of money, jobs, and even homes trying to become a winner again. They may distance themselves from friends and family to have more time to gamble. The addiction is strong and can truly take everything in life. Gambling is one of those behaviors that can be avoided with help, but if addicted a treatment plan does need to be created.
Sexual addiction is another form of behavioral addiction. Sex is a normal part of life for consenting adults, but as with anything it can become an addiction. When sex becomes all consuming and creates a life full of risky behaviors simply to have sex, than it has become problematic. Sex is not typically a behavior that can be avoided for a lifetime, but keeping the amount of partners or sexual exploits to a reasonable amount is possible, even for those who are addicted. Sex addicts often seek sex outside of their marriage, in dangerous places, or in risky situations. The need, as with gambling becomes all consuming. Sex is no longer to show love or caring, it is for the act itself and the feeling of the act.
A third form of behavioral addiction is that of technology. In a world filled with the Internet, phones, and digital everything in life, technology can become an obsession. Whether the habit is for the newest and best in technology or much of your day is spent staring at a screen, you may have an addiction. If you find it hard to unplug and be part of the physical, as opposed to virtual world, then you may have a technology addiction. This could mean checking Facebook every few minutes, spending more time online than with family and friends, or being permanently attached to your phone. It may be impossible to void technology altogether in this life, but a balance can be found.
The final form of behavioral addiction that will be discussed is that of food. This is often called sugar addiction, but any food type or all food can become an addiction. Obviously food cannot be totally avoided, it is a necessity in life. However, making healthy food choices and choosing reasonable portions can be a behavior that is adopted. Food addiction comes about when food consumes most of your thoughts. Worrying about what or when the next food meal is coming or how it is prepared could be a sign of addiction. There is help available.
Behavioral Addictions and DARA
DARA offers specialized treatment for each of these behavioral addictions and much more. With the help of supportive staff, behavioral counseling, and wellness focus, addictions can be overcome. Prior to discharge a plan specific to your needs will even be created to offer the best hope for being addiction free. If you or someone you know needs help consider DARA in-patient facility as an affordable treatment option.
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