Many of the process addictions are very often overlooked in the world of treatment and recovery. A process addiction can be defined as a compulsive behaviour involving actions that do not cause the individual to become physically addicted, for example, gambling, shopping or sex, however, they can cause the user to develop a severe type of behavioural obsession.
The similarities between these types of addictions and substance addictions are clear, and the treatment options available to individuals dealing with these concerns are also very similar. At The Liberation Place, we believe in treating process addiction in the much the same manner as substance addiction, as both conditions can cause considerable trauma to the individual and family environment.
Many process addictions are extremely well hidden from loved ones, and typically they can be difficult to spot, compared to the more stereotypical addiction issues of alcohol or heroin abuse. Despite this lack of “red flags” any process addiction can be significantly harmful to the individual dealing with the symptoms, and often lead to severe mental health concerns, such as depression and anxiety which can, at times, end in extreme consequences such as suicide or self-harm.
The reasons that these addictions are often overlooked lie in a combination of shame, guilt and lack of understanding. It is easier to comprehend the reason a person abuses substances, given the abundance of information available on chemical dependency, while the strong psychological compulsions of the process addict are often ignored. It is not as simple as “just stopping” or “willpower”. There are real chemical and biological changes which occur in the brain of someone who has a process addiction.
The individual dealing with the symptoms of a process addiction will find that they are often dealing with an obsessive need to be involved in the activity, or planning the activity. People close to them may notice that they are neglecting responsibilities in favour of participating in the behaviour, and the process itself is interfering with their relationships, such as infidelity, neglect of children or change in friendships.
Sometimes, those addicted to a process can develop legal problems, such as illegal gambling, prostitution, or breaking laws in order to engage in the behaviour of choice, and they start to feel as if things are spiralling out of control over whether or not you participate in the activity. much like a substance addiction, when life revolves around the behavioural addiction, it is a good indication of an addictive lifestyle,
If this sounds familiar to you and your behaviours, or those of a loved one you are concerned about, and you would like to make some changes in your behaviours you are participating in, take a look at the information contained in our website and the external resources for process addiction that we offer here at The Liberation Place. If it's time to make a change and reach out for the support, recovery is a journey that starts with just one step, and only you alone can choose to take that step, but remember you are not destined to be alone when you choose to take that step with The Liberation Place.