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Combating Behavioural Addiction

Combating Behavioural Addiction

Behavioural health is a part of mental health. Behavioural disorders are not exactly mental disorders; but the behavioural choices you opt for can have a psychological impact on your health. When you get addicted to the behavioural choices you make it is known as behavioural addiction.

Behavioural addiction is different from alcohol addiction or other forms of substance addiction. In the case of behavioural addiction a person spends a lot of time and money on something that impacts the person’s life adversely. Some of the common behavioural addictions are gambling addiction, shopping addiction, hoarding addiction, kleptomania etc.

Gambling Addiction:

Gambling addiction is characterized as regular and repeated gambling even though the person knows that it is creating problems financially and socially. A person can be categorized as a gambling addict if he or she regularly gambles and continues to increase the amount of money that is wagered. Getting irritated and angry if not able to gamble, increased lying to near and dear ones to continue the gambling activity. Thinking of ways and means to recoup the gambling losses. Not thinking about dear ones and ones finances. Gambling addiction is a global phenomenon. Various studies have been conducted in this regard in many different countries. To cite an example, Gamblers on average lose $1500 a year in Australia betting on sports or playing poker etc., whereas a compulsive gambler loses on average $21000.

Shopping Addiction:

This is categorized by a desire to go shopping and buying anything and everything. Buying things that are not required is the hallmark of this addiction. This addiction and hoarding addiction are similar in nature.

Kleptomania:

This is an impulsive urge to steal things. People who have this disorder steal things even though they do not need it. They get the urge to steal and once they complete the steal successfully they get a high and they then feel that they need to do it again and again.

To combat behavioural addiction the first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem. Most people who have behavioural addiction are unable to face up to the fact that they have a genuine problem and that it needs to be combated. Once the problem has been acknowledged then the next step is to visit an addiction treatment centre.

There are various ways to treat behavioural addiction and only a medical professional will be able to diagnose and put you on a treatment path. Though medication is not required mostly for behavioural addiction, the medical professional may put you on medication in some cases. Mostly the line of treatment would be individual therapy sessions or group therapy sessions. Cognitive behavioural therapy would be the first line of treatment as it helps in finding the reason for the behaviour and it helps in creating a strategy to combat the reason. If the person does not change after cognitive behavioural therapy then the next line of treatment would be Dialectical behavioural therapy. This therapy helps a person regain their feelings and emotions and handle situations better. Finally, motivational therapy is prescribed and the person is motivated to leave the obsession and get on with his life. Meditation and yoga are also beneficial and can help in combating behavioural addiction.

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Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Currently she has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She was the Broadway Informer on the all access cable TV Show “The New Yorkers,” soon to be “The Tourist Channel.” email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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