Just like you need to be in tip-top physical health, you also need to be in shape when it comes to your behavioral health. Behavioral health involves your psychological well-being, the choices you make, habits you develop, and how your mental soundness is impacting your quality of life.
Mental disorder vs behavioral addiction
It is important to distinguish mental health disorders from behavioral addiction, though it is common for mental disorders to co-occur with a substance or behavioral addiction, in what is termed as a “dual diagnosis.”
The most common mental health disorders that co-occur with addiction are as follows:
- anxiety disorder
- bipolar disorder
- personality disorder (such as borderline personality disorder)
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- impulse-control, disruptive, or conduct disorders
While a person struggling with addiction may not be clinically diagnosed to have a mental health disorder, nor meet the full criteria to be diagnosed as such, people may still have associated symptoms that play significant roles in the progression of addiction.
All About Behavioral Addiction
While there are people who become addicted to drugs or alcohol, there are still those who develop what is called a behavioral addiction. Activities such as gambling, watching pornography, engaging in sexual acts, shopping, eating, and playing video games may actually progress to a point that a person loses control and the activity becomes addiction. This is because such activities provide an immediate reward, drawing the person further and further in the pursuit for that reward.
For example, a once-in-a-while pastime of gambling can turn into a behavioral addiction because the person can’t just will himself to disengage to the activity, to the point the he loses large amounts of money, disrupts his relationships, loses his career, engages in crime or unruly behavior, and becomes buried in debts.
Anything, from gambling to something as seemingly harmless as eating sweets, can eventually go out of hand until it causes negative effects to many aspects of the person’s life. These effects, as well as the actions people with behavioral addictions exhibit, are similar to someone who actually has addictions to biochemical substances.
If your loved one is spending too much time playing video games, surfing the internet, or gambling, you may want to consider the fact that he or she may be struggling with behavioral addiction. Talk to our specialists to find out what kind of help or treatment you need for your loved one.