What are Compulsive & Process Addictions?
Process addictions are a form of behavioral addiction that is typically associated with obsessive or compulsive behavior. Gambling Addiction, sexual addiction, eating disorders, and addiction surrounding your jobs or hobbies (even social media ie; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) are all common types of process addictions.
Experts in the field of behavioral science believe that any activity that stimulates the human mind and activates the pleasure centers of the brain can become an addiction. The same researchers also believe that there are numerous similarities between substance abuse and process addictions, such as compulsive gambling or risky sexual behavior, and most of these similarities are found in which the brain processes information from external stimuli.
Gambling & Spending Addiction
Chasing thrills is very commonplace in everyday life. Whether it’s hunting, skydiving, fast cars, etc., men tend to seek a boost in adrenaline in many different ways. Much like taking risks physically, taking risks financially can also become a “high” and a pleasure forming activity. The grandiose sensation of “Winning it all” or “losing it all” has been described as a feeling like no other. From the family man playing poker to the high roller, a pathological gambling addiction can place anyone in a financial ruin and worst of all, with broken relationships. Spending addictions can also have no associated risk at the time of purchase but the reliance on lavish items such as fancy cars, elaborate trips and the finer things in life can lead to insurmountable debt, proving gambling is not the only financial risk we should be on the lookout for.
How Process Addictions Begin
Much like substance abuse – or any addiction really – the addict activates the pleasure centers of the mind and releases a flood of dopamine and serotonin to the neurotransmitters of the brain when they engage in the behavior that defines their process addiction. So, much like an alcoholic or a drug addict, the mind begins to crave the same substance (or process) that caused the pleasurable feelings, which often leads to dangerous or misguided behavior in an attempt to pacify these urges.
What started as pleasurable and even relatively normal behavior can quickly become compulsive when repeated in excess. Compulsion takes on many forms, but it is most regularly described as the persistent desire to repeat a once pleasant act that now no longer necessarily leads to any type of reward.
Read More About Compulsivity On Our Blog Compulsive is…Compulsive Does