When a person repeatedly engages in a behaviour despite harm caused by it, it is referred to as behavioural addictions or process addictions. These are non-substance addictions, but many alcoholics or drug addicts have a strong tendency to develop these addictions.

Behavioural addictions could include:

  • Gambling addiction
  • Internet addiction
  • Gaming addiction
  • Eating disorders (overeating, bulimia and anorexia nervosa)
  • Shopping addiction
  • Kleptomania (impulsive stealing)
  • Sex/ Porn addiction
  • Trichotillomania

Behavioural addictions have common traits:

  • Preoccupation with the behaviour
  • Inability to control the behaviour
  • Increased tolerance to the behaviour – so the person indulges in more behaviour mor often to achieve the desired gratification
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms (such as irritability and restlessness) if the behaviour is stopped
  • Experiencing adverse psychological consequences, such as depression or anxiety symptoms, when the individual stops the behaviour for any reason.


Sign Up For Newsletter

Sign up to stay up to date on our work.