The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Feeling attached to a certain item or activity can be healthy from time to time, but overdoing it can lead to addictive behavior. Process addictions, such as those to food, the Internet and sex, have the potential to take over someone’s life and be very destructive.
With food addiction, for example, people that try to stop or cut back on food have trouble correcting their behavior, even if they want to or have tried. A lot of times, recovering from one process addiction can lead to it being replaced by another. An example of this is when someone cutting back on food then becomes obsessed with dieting or exercise.
Like other addictions, process addictions develop by giving people a rush of dopamine that increases pleasure. When this is associated with a particular food or other activity, people will do whatever it takes to satisfy their urges and experience the feeling again.
To learn more about different types of process addictions, take a look at the included infographic.
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More Than A Bad Habit
Additive foods can trigger the same feel-good brain chemicals as drugs
Once people experience pleasure associated with increased dopamine transmission in the brain’s reward pathway from eating certain foods, they quickly feel the need to eat again.
The idea that a person can be addicted to food has recently gotten more support from science.
As with other addictions, people who have tried to stop or cut back on a food addiction will have trouble stopping their behavior, even if they want to or have tried.
Some people who overcome a food addiction and lose weight become addicted to exercise instead.
People develop a tolerance to sugar, they need more and more to satisfy themselves.
Eating and Internet for Smoking and Exercise
Occurs when you successfully manage to recover from one addiction, but in the process you replace it with another addiction.
Famous Food Addict
Carnie Wilson: In 1993, her own singing group broke up. A couple of years later, Wilson admitted that she was a 300-pound food addict, and began to explore bariatric surgery as an option. She told interviewers that she felt there was no choice.
New research suggests that so-called “Internet Addiction” is associated with increased depression and even drug-like withdrawal symptoms.
60 adults, average age about 24, took tests that examined their Internet use, their moods and feelings, including the potential for anxiety or depression, and even if they had some autistics traits. All participants then used the Internet for 15 minutes. Immediately after, they again answered questionnaires to judge their mood and anxiety level.
32 were deemed problematic and/or high Internet users
28 were low Internet users.
Types of Internet Addictions
Cybersex Addiction – compulsive use of Internet pornography, adult chat rooms, or adult fantasy role-play sites impacting negatively on real-life intimate relationships.
Cyber-Relationship Addiction – addiction to social networking, chat rooms, and messaging to the point where virtual, online friends become more important than real-life relationships with family and friends.
Net Compulsions – such as compulsive online gaming, gambling, stock trading, or compulsive use of online auction sites such as eBay, often resulting in financial and job-related problems.
Information Overload – compulsive web surfing or database searching, leading to lower work productivity and less social interaction with family and friends.
Computer Addiction – obsessive playing of off-line computer games, such as Solitaire or Minesweeper, or obsessive computer programming.
The most common of these Internet addictions are cybersex, online gambling, and cyber-relationship addiction.
Celebs and the Internet
Russell Brand: Was obsessed with Googling himself.
John Mayer: Said Twitter has become a dangerous addiction that he had a hard time quitting. “I now have an even larger Tumblr addiction.”
Jennifer Aniston: Allegedly ended her relationship with musician boyfriend John Mayer because he is obsessed with Twitter.
Sex Addiction (the behavior of a person who has an unusually intense sex drive or an obsession with sex)
Around two-thirds of sex addicts are male.
As many as 12 million Americans have a sex addiction.
Adolescents and young adults who are intellectually delayed can develop a pattern of compulsive sex behavior, as a result of not having developed an accurate understanding of healthy sexuality.
Substance abusers frequently develop sexually addictive behavior.
Either while they are abusing stimulants or when they quit using drugs.
Those with Dependent Personality Disorder can become sexually addicted as well. Love addicts use sex to get love and can base their entire identity on the relationship, thus becoming totally dependent on that person.
Famous Sex Addict
David Duchovny, in the past, voluntarily sought treatment for sex addiction, and has talked about his internet pornography obsession. Ironically, he portrays a sexually compulsive writer on Showtime’s Californication.
There is such a thing as monogamous sex addict.
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