Behavioural Addiction

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Frequently asked questions

Are Behavioural Addictions Real Addictions?

The question of whether or not behavioural addictions are real addictions is one that has been debated for years. The answer is yes. Behavioural addictions are defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) as "a cluster of symptoms that reflect excessive engagement in a specific behavior." This includes anything from compulsive spending, to sex addiction, to video game addiction, to shopping addiction.

How do I know if I have a behavioural addiction?

To determine if you have a behavioural addiction, ask yourself these questions:

Do you feel like you can't control your actions when it comes to your addictive behaviours?

Have you tried to stop engaging in your addictive behaviour but failed?

Has your life become unmanageable because of your addictive behaviours?

Do you spend more time thinking about your addictive behaviours than doing things that are important to you?

If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, then it is likely that you have a behavioural addiction.

Is it possible to recover from a behavioural addiction?

Yes. Many people have successfully recovered from their behavioural addictions. It takes patience, dedication, and commitment to recovery. However, most importantly, it requires a willingness to change.

What Is Sexual Addiction/Hypersexual Disorder?

Sexual addiction/hypersexual disorder is characterised by uncontrollable sexual thoughts or urges, which cause distress and interfere with daily functioning. These urges often involve pornography or masturbation. Hypersexuality is considered a type of impulse control disorder.

How Common Is Gambling Disorder and What Is the Treatment?

Gambling disorder affects an estimated 2% - 3% of adults in the United States. In addition, approximately 1% of adolescents suffer from pathological gambling. 

There are two main forms of treatment for gambling disorders: cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and medication. CBT focuses on changing the way gamblers perceive themselves and their environment. Medications are used to treat the underlying causes of the disorder. 

What Is Internet Gaming Disorder?

Internet gaming disorder is characterised by a preoccupation with online games, loss of interest in other activities and problems controlling how much time is spent playing. 

The World Health Organisation recently added internet gaming disorder to its list of conditions requiring further study. 

What Are Some Signs You Might Have A Problem With Shopping?

Shopping addiction is one of the most common behavioural addictions. According to a recent survey conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), almost half of all Americans struggle with compulsive buying. 

People who compulsively shop tend to spend more money than they make, buy things they do not need and find it difficult to stop once they start. They may even feel guilty when they don't go shopping. 

Do I need help if I’m addicted to a behaviour?

If you think you might have a problem, then you should seek treatment. There are several types of treatments available, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
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