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A form of addiction that involves a compulsion to engage in a rewarding non-substance-related behavior – sometimes called a natural reward[4][5] – despite any negative consequences to the person's physical, mental, social or financial well-being.

Behavioral addictions begin the same way that drug or alcohol addictions do; neurotransmitters and other natural chemicals will flood the brain whenever an addiction-prone or an individual that has an affinity to addiction engages in these activities. While most of the population can take part in these behaviors without becoming addicted, vulnerable people can find themselves craving and participating in the action at unhealthy levels. While it’s true that behavioral addictions don’t cause a physical dependence like opiates or meth, people with a behavioral addiction will experience similar adverse consequences.

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There are many factors that can contribute to the development of a gambling addiction, including: desperation for money, the “high” that comes from the thrill of betting, and the intoxicating atmosphere of the gambling scene.

Similar to addictive substances like SHABU and COCAINE, gambling addiction is associated with the release of dopamine within the brain. Just as those suffering from substance use disorders require increasingly strong hits to get high or increasingly larger amounts of alcohol to get drunk, gambling addicts pursue riskier ventures and bet increasingly larger amounts of money to receive the same pleasure they once did. Additionally, research shows that pathological gamblers and drug users share many of the same genetic predispositions for impulsivity and reward-seeking. Furthermore, both those suffering from substance abuse problems and compulsive gamblers endure symptoms of withdrawal when attempting to quit.



Internet addiction is yet to be listed in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (commonly referred to as the DSM-5). However, a 2-year study funded by The National Institutes of Health may change that. Beginning in August of 2017, the study could deliver sufficient evidence that problems stemming from excessive internet use deserve serious attention from U.S. mental health and psychiatric communities. Professionals that do recognize internet addiction tend to classify it as either an obsessive-compulsive disorder or an impulse control disorder to aid treatment. Internet addiction is also called compulsive computer use, pathological internet use, and internet dependence.

5 Types of Internet Addiction

  • Cyber Sex Addiction

  • Net Compulsions

  • Cyber (Online) Relationship Addiction

  • Compulsive Information Seeking

  • Computer or Gaming Addiction



But sometimes symptoms are present and noticeable. A person may have a sex addiction if they show some or all of the following signs:

  • chronic, obsessive sexual thoughts and fantasies

  • compulsive relations with multiple partners, including strangers

  • lying to cover behaviors

  • preoccupation with having sex, even when it interferes with daily life, productivity, work performance, and so on

  • inability to stop or control the behaviors

  • putting oneself or others in danger due to sexual behavior

  • feeling remorse or guilt after sex

  • experiencing other negative personal or professional consequences

Compulsive behaviors can strain relationships, for example, with the stress of infidelity — although some people may claim to have a sex addiction as a way to explain infidelity in a relationship.

Behavioral Addiction: Services
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