While addictions to drugs or alcohol are among the most well-known types of addiction, process addictions can be just as harmful. Process addictions, also known as behavioral addictions, are compulsive behaviors that involve using a certain action or behavior to feel better in the moment. Process addictions often include activities such as gambling, shopping, playing video games, exercise, or sex, but can extend to any activity that becomes compulsive or obsessive. A process addiction treatment program uses many of the same methods used to treat substance use disorders but also focuses on the underlying behavioral issues.
At Virtue Recovery Las Vegas, we understand the complexity of process addictions. Our process addiction treatment program incorporates behavioral therapy and counseling services to address the underlying issues related to process addiction.
Understanding Process Addictions
Process addictions are more than just engaging in an enjoyable activity. Instead, the behavior is used to cope with life’s struggles and difficult emotions in an unhealthy way. Just like substance use disorders, process addictions are often associated with underlying trauma or mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical in your brain involved in both pleasure and motivation, is triggered when engaging in activities that involve risk or reward, such as gambling. The dopamine rush associated with these behaviors can be so strong that it becomes necessary to continue the behavior in order to feel the same level of pleasure.
Process addictions can take many forms, including but not limited to:
- Video games
- Internet or online activities
- Excessive exercise
- Sex or porn addiction
These behaviors on their own are not necessarily unhealthy, but when it becomes difficult to stop or you feel like the behavior is controlling your life, then it’s time to look into process addiction treatment.
Signs You’d Benefit from Process Addiction Treatment
Process addictions can be difficult to recognize. Simply liking to shop or relax after work with video games doesn’t necessarily mean that you are addicted. However, if any of the following signs or symptoms are present, it may be time to consider process addiction treatment:
- Engaging in the activities more often or for longer periods of time than intended
- Feeling a need to increase the intensity of the activities to get the same level of pleasure, like betting more or buying more expensive items
- The activities are causing financial, physical, and emotional problems in your life
- Feeling irritated when you can’t engage in the activities
- Having intense cravings or thoughts about engaging in the activity
- Neglecting responsibilities or losing interest in other activities because of the addiction
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, there is hope. A process addiction treatment program can make a difference.
Our Process Addiction Treatment Program
At Virtue Recovery Las Vegas, our process addiction treatment program is tailored to meet your individual needs. Behavioral therapy is a foundational part of the addiction treatment process. It’s used to help identify and understand the underlying reasons behind the behavior, as well as look at how to substitute healthy behaviors in place of the addiction. We also offer counseling services to address any underlying mental health issues that may be a factor in your process addiction.
The goal of our program is to help you gain a better understanding of the behavior and learn healthier coping skills. While the process of recovery can be difficult, our team is here to help you every step of the way.