Behavioural Addictions: Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

Behavioural addiction can be described as a mental health condition wherein you repeatedly and compulsively engage in a particular activity or behaviour, even though the behaviour is causing you harm. Engaging in behavioural addictions has been shown to trigger the release of dopamine in the brain in response to the activity. The release of dopamine results in feelings of pleasure, which you then come to associate almost exclusively with the activity.

This leads you to crave participating in the activity to receive a pleasurable surge of dopamine. Continuing this practice will, in time, result in your brain becoming reliant on the behaviour to feel that heightened sense of pleasure or reward, and eventually addiction.

Behavioural addiction is a growing problem in the UK and most people are unaware that feeding a behavioural addiction is as dangerous as feeding a substance addiction. The urge to engage in these behaviours in order to feel normal and connected may seem irresistible or uncontrollable, but at Primrose Lodge, we have the expertise and treatment options available to help you break free from these compulsions.

Type Of Behavioural Addictions We Treat

Including but not limited to:

If you or a loved one are suffering from any of the above addictions or something else such as shopping, social media and/or plastic surgery addiction please do not hesitate to call us today!

Signs and Symptoms

There are a variety of behavioural addictions, including gambling, sex, shopping, and so on. All these activities may seem different from each other, but they all share a common ground for process addicts, that is all addicts receive pleasure from engaging in said activities. By performing the act, the addict’s reward system is triggered, leading to a pleasurable response in the brain.

Common signs and symptoms are:

  • Preoccupation with the behaviour. That is, unable to focus on other activities when not engaging in the behaviour.
  • Increasing inability to control the behaviour and your engagement in it.
  • Experiencing withdrawal if the behaviour is avoided or resisted.
  • Developing a tolerance to the behaviour and thus needing to engage in the behaviour more often or more heavily in order to achieve the desired effect or pleasure.
  • Experiencing depression or anxiety symptoms, or other adverse psychological consequences, when you avoid or resist the behaviour.

Short-Term Effects

One particularly overwhelming short-term effect is the adaptation of your brain’s reward system concerning the act or behaviour. Relying on the behaviour to feel satisfaction or pleasure will eventually drive you to take greater risks for a larger reward. This is especially likely if you have started building up a tolerance.

Behavioural addiction puts you at the risk of eventually going too far and doing irreparable damage. Said damage can be to your reputation, your finances, family’s wellbeing, depression and even suicide.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Behavioural addicts also experience withdrawal symptoms, as their brain’s reward system becomes dependent on the activity for pleasure. These withdrawal symptoms are typically psychological in nature and include the following:

  • Desperately attempting to rationalise your performing the activity
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating on other tasks
  • Difficulty with social interactions
  • Fantasies and dreams about performing the activity
  • Feeling empty inside or sad and lonely
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Impatience and angry outbursts
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Lack of interest in other activities
  • Lack of motivation
  • Obsessive thoughts about the activity
  • Uncontrollable feelings or sudden mood changes
  • Nausea

Recovery Treatment

Many behavioural addicts are able to think and function much better after staying away from their addictive behaviour for some months.

If you are suffering from behavioural addiction, we strongly recommended that you undergo rehabilitation in our facility, so that you can learn to live and enjoy life without your addiction. We have a variety of recovery programmes available and can tailor any of the following to best suit your needs:

  • One-to-One Counselling
  • Group Therapy
  • Yoga & Meditation
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Holistic Programme
  • Relapse Prevention Techniques

We also have a variety of counsellors and therapists on our team, with the expertise to help you beat your addiction. Call us today to get started.

Rehab Benefits

Behavioural addiction treatment in our private rehab comes with a variety of benefits. Some of which include:

  • Teaching you how to overcome the root causes of your addiction
  • Treatment in a safe and nurturing environment
  • Learning proven relapse prevention techniques
  • 24/7 care and support
  • Personalised rehabilitation treatment programme

Get Help Today

Letting your behavioural addiction continue unchecked may eventually lead to irreparable damage. This is because the condition will only continue to escalate for every minute it is ignored.

If you or a loved one has a behavioural addiction and would like to take back control, we can help. Our rehab is CQC regulated and we have helped hundreds of individuals retake control of their lives.

Call our confidential helpline today by dialling 0203 553 9263 to get started on the safe and effective path to recovery.

Don't waste another day on addiction
Call Now 0203 553 9263
Call Now 0203 553 9263

Call Now 0203 553 9263

Find us
  • Perry Hill
  • Worplesdon
  • Guildford
  • Surrey GU3 3RF