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Helping a Loved One With a Process Addiction

Addiction is defined as a disease of the brain, a chronic illness that needs comprehensive therapy and medical treatment. Whether your loved one is addicted to a substance or a particularly damaging habit, their life can spiral out of control before they have even realized what has happened. Process addiction involves serious compulsions to carry out specific behaviors excessively, which is often damaging to the individual. Helping a loved one who faces extreme behaviors can be a balancing act of sorts.

Understanding a Process Addiction

Addiction can happen in many different patterns. Many people assume that having a physical dependence on a substance along with withdrawal symptoms is needed in order for someone to receive a diagnosis of an addiction disorder, but this is not so. The fact is that a process addiction is very similar, as they both begin with chemical changes that start deep inside of the brain.

Brain cells are designed to produce euphoric chemicals when a wonderful event happens and respond positively when a desirable trigger appears. These signals exist behind drug abuse, as addictive drugs cause unnatural increases in these “feel good” chemicals. This same process happens when individuals take part in certain pleasure-seeking activities.

Some common process addictions include:

  • Gambling
  • Shopping
  • Eating
  • Having sex
  • Exercise
  • Gaming

Although these are all common activities, they can become a behavioral addiction when the person struggles with an inability to stop, and struggle with a mental or physical health consequence as a result. They may also begin to have difficulties in their relationships at home and at work because their behavior becomes so troublesome. Finally, they may be unable to stop, regardless of any unwanted results they experience because of the behavior they are choosing to engage in.

Mixing a Process Addiction with Drugs

Some people add drugs or alcohol to the mix while carrying out their compulsive acts. For instance, people who have an addiction to gambling might develop an addiction to alcohol along with it. This may help remove any apprehension or fear that they have about doing what it is that they want to do. Another example is people who are addicted to sex often become addicted to drugs as well. This may help them to keep their addiction to sex going and remove any fears they may have out of the way.

How to Help a Loved One

Should you have a relative or friend facing an addiction, you are likely wondering what you can do to help. Helping someone you love who has a process addiction is not always an easy choice, but there is a greater chance they will overcome their obstacles with your support. Though every situation is unique, to help them, you need to be sure that you aren’t criticizing them, threatening them, or expecting them to change overnight. Focus on building honesty and trust in your relationship and always respect their privacy.

What to Expect

It is wise to be aware that it may become difficult to help someone you care about to stop their addiction. Here are some difficulties that you may run into. First of all, they may feel like they don’t have a problem in the first place, or they simply may not want to change what they are doing.

They may feel embarrassed about their addiction and may not want to speak to a professional about it. You should also know that in some cases, they are carrying out their destructive behaviors as a way to avoid dealing with a possible mental health disorder they may have.

Communicate Honestly

You might be all set to open up and start a discussion with your loved one, letting them know about the problems their addiction has caused, in hopes of getting them to change right away.

Keep in mind that though it can be discouraging, the decision to change is always theirs. A person with a behavioral addiction is much more likely to think about changing if you speak honestly with them, without speaking to them in a threatening manner.

Addiction Treatment at Atlantic Recovery Center

If your loved one is ready to make a positive change in their life and conquer their process addiction, our caring staff at Atlantic Recovery Center is here to guide them every step of the way. Contact us today at 1-866-824-5193 and let us be the beacon of light in their life to show them the way to recovery.