Understanding How Process Addictions Affect Well-Being

Understanding How Process Addictions Affect Well-being

At Avalon Malibu, we know addiction is an illness that millions face. Process addictions are types of addictions that do not involve the use of substances. Instead, they involve compulsive behaviors and are self-destructive. These types of addictions have different effects on your mind and body from drug or alcohol addictions, yet typically still require intensive therapy and treatment. It could be crucial to know that process addictions can affect your well-being, but healing from them can be possible with a variety of therapy methods. 

Explaining Process Addictions

There are different types of process addictions, such as gambling addiction, sex addiction, eating disorders, and self-harm for a few examples. Process addictions can be more difficult to recognize because, in society today, people can normalize some of the behaviors. It is important to note that process addictions can still be serious and very dangerous. Process addictions affect the mind and body and can originate from issues that stem from young adulthood or even early childhood. There are a variety of reasons you could have developed a process addiction, which can be further explored in therapy. Therapy can be a great place to start if you have a process addiction to discuss with a professional where your addiction came from. At Avalon Malibu, we believe it can be crucial to your recovery to find the root cause of your addiction to begin your healing journey.  

Process addictions have similarities to substance use disorder (SUD). A journal article titled “Behavioral Addiction versus Substance Addiction: Correspondence of Psychiatric and Psychological Views” published in the journal International Journal of Preventive Medicine discussed process addictions. This article suggests that if you have a process addiction, you are not necessarily addicted to the behavior; rather, you may be addicted to how the behavior makes you feel or how acting out the behavior makes you feel. 

How Process Addictions Affect the Mind

At Avalon Malibu, we know that if you have an addiction, your mind is being affected. When you are engaging in active addiction, you are activating the part of your brain that produces a sensation of pleasure. With a process addiction, the more you engage in the behavior that produces the pleasurable feeling, you are likely to crave it more often and more intensely. This can make it more difficult to stop the behavior. Over time, it can also affect the way your brain responds to dopamine. This means your brain can become less sensitive to dopamine over time.

If you have a process addiction, we understand you are likely preoccupied with engaging in the process addiction behavior. We know you do not want to stop the behavior and feel shame or guilt when you slip up or give in. Process addictions are real and serious addictions, and you deserve to get help and support. Your mind is likely struggling if you have a process addiction. The effects of stress from addiction can take a toll on your ability to focus and fulfill other responsibilities. 

Like substance use, process addictions can lead to other negative psychological effects. Mood disorders such as depression or anxiety can become additional issues you may face. These issues alter the way your brain works and can make other obligations like school, work, or time with family and friends more difficult. 

How Process Addictions Affect the Body

Process addictions can affect your body in a variety of ways. If you are facing an eating disorder as a process addiction, your body is likely lacking nutrients. This can be dangerous and lead to several other side effects like gastrointestinal issues, dehydration, and bloating. There are currently eight categories of feeding and eating disorders in the DSM-5, which are as follows:

  • Pica
  • Rumination disorder
  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder
  • Anorexia nervosa 
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Binge-eating disorder
  • Other specified feeding or eating disorder
  • Unspecified feeding or eating disorder

Your body may also be affected by process addictions in other ways. You may harm your physical body or experience effects from stress, such as heart issues, sweating, or unintentional and unhealthy changes to your weight. If exercise addiction is a process addiction you face, you may notice changes in your physical body’s appearance as well. 

Treatment Options

Although process addictions affect your mind and body, they are possible to heal from. Treatment options are available, and Avalon Malibu may be right for you. Treatment with us would include an individualized approach depending on your process addiction recovery needs. We have dual diagnosis treatment and can help you uncover where your addiction stems from. As mentioned above, this can be a crucial component to understanding your addiction to help you begin healing. With our mindfulness-based therapies and private therapy sessions, we believe we can help you recover from your process addiction. 

Process addictions do not involve substance use, yet they still have a variety of effects on the mind and body. There are some similarities between process addictions and substance use. However, process addictions can be more difficult to recognize. In our society, people tend to normalize some of the behaviors involved in process addictions. Coming forward after recognizing that you are struggling with addiction is brave. It is important to know that process addictions can be serious, and there are treatment options available if you are facing a process addiction. At Avalon Malibu, we want to help you and can offer more information. Please call (844) 857-5992 today to inquire about process addictions and how we can help.

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