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.

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.

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Mike McInnes                   Zach Lindley