Signs of Behavioral Addictions

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Behavioral addictions differ from addictions to many illegal drugs, prescription medications, or alcohol and tobacco in that they cannot cause physical dependence; that is, the person will not experience physical withdrawal symptoms like nausea or convulsions should they stop the behavior. However, many behavioral addictions can lead to psychological dependence, which can result in depression, anxiety, and other psychological distress when the person is no longer able to participate in the behavior.  Like substance addictions, behavioral addictions – including gambling addiction and sex addiction – can still produce a high by tapping into the brain’s center for pleasure and reward system (i.e., the neurotransmitter dopamine).  Also like addictions to drugs or other substances, behavioral addictions are often used as immature coping mechanisms for individuals who have experienced trauma in their past or feel out of control in their everyday life.  Read more about the signs of specific behavioral addictions by following the related links.

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