Balanced mental and emotional well-being is such an important part of one’s health. Lots of people invest time and effort into physical fitness but if this is not balanced with emotional and mental health then there can be many problem areas. One such problem area is behavioral addiction.
It is important to understand what behavioral addiction is all about simply because:
·It can; if left unchecked, lead to severe problems of various kinds.
·A behavioral addict can suffer from deep depression and other negative effects.
·Sometimes the addict may never even know that they are suffering from a serious problem.
For instance, if someone is a shopaholic – is it retail therapy or an addiction to shopping?
Types of behavioral addiction
There are many different ways in which such behavioral addiction can manifest itself. Individuals may be hookedon to:
The diagnosis of behavioral addiction is critical because this is the start to the treatment process. Looking at the symptoms of behavioral addiction in the case of gambling for instance will lead to rather surprising findings. It starts with a very simple act – someone gambles and finds out that this is a rather easy way to make money and then very quickly it can become a compulsive or serious problem.
Gambling addiction can take on many forms too – card games, casinos, sports betting, races of various kinds and so on. It could even be when a person keeps taking bets with friends on virtually everything out there. Signs could then include:
·Risking financial health for a gambling habit.
·Gambling even when an individual simply cannot afford to.
·Borrowing money from friends and family to support gambling and
·Being cagey and secretive about the habit too.
Such obsessive behavior is the root of almost all problems with such addictions.
The treatment process
Mostly, it starts with identifying the root cause for such an addiction. In some cases it could be stress and in others it could be low self esteem. Once this has been identified, then treatment can start in a more effective manner.
Some of the ways in which behavioral addiction can be treated include:
·Residential treatment programs.
·CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy too.
It is also important to help an addict with withdrawal symptoms. This is a critical area because behavioral addiction treatment, for sure, results in all kinds of symptoms. People may suffer from insomnia, high anxiety, depression and even violent anger because they are going through a ‘detox’ program. It is therefore important to keep this in mind and offer support when needed.
Some treatment programs will also entail the involvement of the family members and close friends and it is crucial that the entire ecosystem comes into play when an addict is getting better. Whether it is physical exercise routines or support when an individual is slipping into old patterns – everything has its place and a huge role to play.