Behavioral Addiction

What makes a behavioral addiction so hard to treat is that these activities are often times considered acceptable in society. For example, the Internet is incredibly difficult to refrain from using because the Internet is inescapable in modern society.

There are five distinct behavioral addictions that healthcare professionals and addiction specialists recognize:

·      Gambling

·      Sex

·      Gaming

·      Food

·      Internet


What are the signs and symptoms of a behavioral addiction?

Behavioral addictions don’t show the same withdrawal symptoms prevalent in drug and or alcohol abuse. However, the emotional and mental symptoms are similar.

  • Guilt and shame

  • Lying

  • Denial

  • Missing work, school, or significant events

  • Fighting with friends and family

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Lack of self-care

At The Encino Detox Center, we also see physical consequences to these behavioral addictions. For example, people with sex addiction may suffer from STDs, and Internet and gaming addicts can develop carpal tunnel, headaches, and suffer from neck and back pain. Psychological withdrawal symptoms are similar to those seen in drug addiction, including cravings, anxiety, social isolation, relationship consequences and problems sleeping, attending to one’s profession or academics and an overall breakdown of one’s health and wellness.

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