A process addiction is a condition in which a person is dependent upon some form of behavior, such as love, sex, gambling, or shopping, and is a blanket term for any behavioral addiction that does not involve drugs or alcohol. Our residential rehab center recognizes and treats many different types of process addictions including codependency, gambling, self-harming behaviors (burning, cutting, hair pulling), sexual addiction, love addiction, internet addiction, gaming addiction, and shopping addiction. Our clinicians work to unravel the client’s life story and often find that their process addiction arose from a need for meaning, control, or escape from a traumatic life event. Our clinicians work to connect the dots between process addiction, trauma/post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse and believe that victimization and abuse evolve into unhealthy coping behaviors, which may lead to process addictions and substance abuse.
Process addictions often occur alongside substance abuse as they are generally triggered by the same emotions, impulses, and feelings of emptiness. A person suffering from trauma or underlying issues may use substance abuse or process addictions to numb emotional pain; both are very common and effective ways to suppress or numb the pain. A very common pattern our therapists have recognized is that a person suffering from trauma will choose substance abuse or a process addiction; the path the person chooses is insignificant because they will quickly switch back and forth depending on what is readily available. At our rehab center, we believe that if trauma/PTSD is not treated, the risk of relapse is high.