You are probably familiar with alcohol or drug addiction, but behavioural addiction may be a new concept for you. Many people don’t know that certain behaviours can be as addictive as drugs or alcohol. In fact, these addictions can be so severe and difficult to manage that a person may require behavioural addiction treatment. The following will offer a brief overview of behavioural addiction, including its symptoms and subtypes and some suggestions for whom might benefit from the assistance of a behavioural addiction treatment centre.
Teens can be especially susceptible to behavioural addiction, just as they can be susceptible to drug or alcohol abuse. These issues often go hand in hand with mental distress, marking addiction, behavioural issues, and mental illness as co-occurring disorders that require intense, concurrent treatment. If your teen is dealing with any or all of these issues, Venture Academy is available to help. With two beautiful campuses in Red Deer, AB, and Barrie, ON, Venture Academy is accessible to clients across Canada. Our time-tested programmes combined with all-season outdoor activities will get your teen on the road to recovery. Check out Venture Academy on the web or call us at [direct] for immediate assistance.
Defining Behavioural Addiction
Behavioural addictions operate on many of the same neurological mechanisms as drug or alcohol addiction, with the release of neurotransmitters and the accompanying feelings of euphoria that a person might feel when using alcohol or drugs. However, behavioural addictions are often related to socially-sanctioned activities, so it can be even harder to determine if someone is living with a behavioural addiction and is in need of treatment. There a four generally accepted subtypes of behavioural addiction: Gambling Addiction, Sex Addiction, Gaming Addiction, and Internet Addiction. But other subtypes of addiction, like shopping addiction, addictions to food, risky behaviour, or television, are also gaining attention.
As with more familiar types of addiction, signs of behavioural addiction can include an inability to resist impulsive behaviour, a loss of interest in relationships, work, or hobbies, a sense of guilt or denial around the addiction, lying to others about the addiction, and evidence of withdrawal (like irritability) if a craving cannot be satisfied.
Factors in Seeking Behavioural Addiction Treatment
Addiction can happen to anyone. But because some behavioural addictions (e.g. internet addiction) are related to many of the activities we engage in during our day-to-day lives, it would be unreasonable to expect a person to give up these habits entirely. Accordingly, behavioural addiction treatment is often geared towards helping a person engage with these behaviours in ways that are responsible and intentional. But, some people are more at risk than others and may more readily benefit from behavioural addiction treatment.
#1: People Who Are Predisposed to Addiction
People can be predisposed to addiction of any kind, and many factors can contribute to cycles of behavioural addiction. Some people who have a family history of addiction may be genetically predisposed to addiction and should be aware of their risk factors for addiction.
#2: People Who Are Under Severe Stress or Are Dealing With the Fallout of a Traumatic Experience
Addiction and addictive behaviours can offer temporary relief from stress or can distract a person from a traumatic experience. But, feeding a behavioural addiction is not a healthy coping mechanism for problems like these. A behavioural addiction treatment programme will address the underlying causes of a person’s addiction so that they learn to manage their responses to their triggers while in treatment and afterwards.
#3: People in Permissive or High-Risk Environments
Environmental factors can exacerbate addiction. A person in a permissive environment may be at a higher risk of behavioural addiction. Lack of parental supervision can contribute to addictive behaviour patterns. Social groups can also encourage behavioural addictions as teens try to fit in and keep up with their peers. Even social media, which itself can be part of someone’s internet addiction, can exacerbate risks of behavioural addiction by feeding into a person’s “fear of missing out,” or FOMO.
#4: People for Whom the Object of a Behavioural Addiction Is Ever-Present
Behavioural addictions can manifest at any age, but children and teens are at especially high risk of electronic and/or internet addiction. It’s not hard to see why: children have ever-increasing access to personal devices and screen time, and the COVID-19 pandemic required many of our children to attend school virtually, placing an even heavier reliance upon things like computers and cell phones, and tablets. Using these devices may be second nature to your child. While every parent probably worries about the effects of excessive screen time, you probably know that it would be impractical to stop using these devices and technologies in your home completely. Still, you should keep an eye on your child’s habits and behaviours when using technology, especially since they may not have a choice as to whether or not they use these things. Help them manage their usage and if you begin to notice any of the signs and symptoms of addiction identified above, consider reaching out for help.
Venture Academy Can Help Your Teen Beat Their Behavioural Addiction
Just because someone is exposed to addictive behaviours does not mean that they will develop an addiction. Addiction is a multifactorial problem with multiple underlying causes and triggers. If you suspect your teen may be battling a behavioural addiction, help is just a phone call away. Venture Academy has a proven track record of helping troubled teens with a variety of problems, including behavioural addiction. Don’t wait; call Venture Academy today at [direct]. With campuses in Red Deer and Barrie, help is closer than you think!