Behavioral Addictions | Impulse Control Disorders

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Behavioral Addiction TreatmentMost people associate addiction with alcoholism or major drugs such as: cocaine, meth and heroin. While substance abuse is a well-known type of addiction, there are other types of addictions which are associated with impulse control disorders.

Behavioral addictions are types of addictions in the class of psychiatric disorders characterized by impulsivity – failure to resist a temptation, urge or impulse that may harm the individual. Impulse control disorders sits on the fence of addiction because these kinds of addictions are often innate, and uncontrollable. Common behavioral addictions include: cutting, exercising, eating disorders, gambling, "Internet surfing", playing video games, sex, shopping, stealing, viewing of pornography, and work. These types of behaviors or activities produce immediate reward, bringing the pleasure that most addicts are unconsciously seeking. Behavioral addictions, just like substance addictions, have the potential to cause health and interpersonal relationships problems, and if neglected the addiction can easily intensify.

While treatment is available for behavioral addictions most individuals do not seek treatment until they come across a crises situation. One of the reasons might be the fact that, so far, the only behavioral addiction that is included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), is gambling addiction, which makes it harder for insurance companies to award treatment benefits.

Fortunately as far as treatment, when The American Society of Addiction Medicine categorized addiction in all of its forms as a disease, the stigma associated with it has somehow been lifted. Now more than ever individuals struggling with an addiction are seeking treatment. This recognition has also enabled those with drug or alcohol addictions to receive some legal protection from discrimination, as long as they are enrolled in a recovery program. While there are many addictions and a few categories in which they all fall into, there are methods of treatment, and RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE. Many former addicts have permanently left their addictions behind through the help of specialized treatment and the removal of all negative influences despite the belief that no one can ever be completely cured of their addiction.