Behavioral addiction is like any other addiction. It is a series of repeated behaviors that can’t be stopped even if there are negative consequences. It takes control of a person’s life and won’t let go. It usually cannot be helped except with treatment.
Behavioral addictions are actually more common than you’d think. They include gambling addiction, shopping addiction, hoarding, kleptomania, and food addictions. They are average activities that might bring someone joy until they become obsessed with it that is.
Complete abstinence for behavioral addictions can actually be impossible. This is why it is so much harder to treat them than the average addiction. People always need to eat or buy things, so it can be hard to help them figure out how to manage that.
Because of this many programs tend to focus less on abstinence and more on rehabilitation.
Many behavioral treatment programs want to make sure to get to the psychological root of the issue. The part that actually leads to you getting the addiction. They want to address that and maybe help figure out why you’re addicted the way that you are.
These programs tend to follow the basic 12 step premise of alcohol and drug addiction treatments.
There is individual counseling where people meet with a therapist alone. That way they can talk in private about their problems. It’s important to have time to focus on a person entirely. Trauma therapy might even be necessary
Group therapy is also a common occurrence. It can help people to see that they are not alone, as addiction can feel very isolating. Especially with behavioral addictions which people seem to look at as character flaws.
Having others around you that have similar problems can validate your feelings. It also can help to see all the different stages of recovery people are in. Everyone puts their own spin on things, and you never know what might help you recover.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is another common strategy. This goes by trying to get rid of negative behaviors. Not only that but then replacing them with things more positive. It is an attempt to change the thought process to help curb addiction.
Honestly, there are many different ways to treat behavioral addictions. It’s important to find out what is best for you. This starts by finding a facility that specializes in behavioral addiction.