When people hear the word addiction, they often associate it with substances like illicit drugs and alcohol. In broader terms, addiction can develop into anything that isn’t substance-related like food, gambling, gaming, shopping, and more. This type of addiction is known as non-substance addiction. When a person engages in these activities, they find it difficult to stop despite their negative effects. It can interfere with a person’s daily life and even put them in unsafe situations.
Non-substance addictions can cause physical, emotional, psychological, and even financial distress. Knowing the symptoms of a non-substance addiction is crucial to preventing serious harm and helping the person regain control of their life. In this article, as a leading rehab centre in Bali we’ll be discussing what non-substance addiction is all about and how you or your loved one can overcome this behaviour.
Symptoms of non-substance addiction
A person with non-substance addiction is someone who frequently engages in activities without fear of the consequences. For example, a person who’s addicted to gambling may continue to spend all their savings or a person who’s addicted to gaming may sit for hours on end without thinking about their physical health. Symptoms of non-substance addiction may include:
- Continuous engagement in risky or troublesome behaviour
- Impaired decision-making skills
- Strong cravings to engage in activities
- Strained relationships (both work and personal)
- Conflicting emotional response
Causes of non-substance addiction
Most health experts around the world describe addiction as a disease that affects a person’s brain activity. The person’s reward, motivation, and memory systems have been altered in a way that brings physical and emotional satisfaction whenever they participate in addictive behaviour. This feeling of excitement or “rush” is what keeps a person from continuing their bad habits despite the negative outcomes. Prolonged engagement in such activities unlocks a series of euphoric feelings and strange behavioural characteristics that make them even more addicted.
Diagnosing a non-substance requires the help of a medical or mental health professional. The person undergoes a thorough assessment conducted by a team of psychiatrists, psychologists, and general practitioners. Observe the person for symptoms of non-substance addiction and if they continue to exhibit the symptoms on a regular basis, contact a medical professional immediately for assistance.
Treatment options for non-substance addiction
While most rehabilitation centres are aimed at treating people with substance abuse disorders, there are plenty of treatment facilities out there that offer treatment programs for non-substance addiction. These facilities approach the treatment a bit differently compared to treating substance abuse as they focus on addressing the underlying causes of non-substance addiction. If you know a loved one who suffers from non-substance addiction or you find yourself dealing with this kind of disease, it’s best to reach out to a dedicated treatment specialist as soon as possible.
Each person’s needs are quite different and it requires a thorough assessment from a qualified therapist to determine the right treatment program. Some therapists may recommend treatment that’s similar to substance abuse if the patient exhibits similar symptoms. An effective addiction treatment program for non-substance addiction may include a combination of the following.
- Diagnosis – Just like with substance abuse, there are co-occurring disorders that play a role in affecting the patient’s decision-making. A thorough diagnosis will help identify any co-occurring mental health disorders that contribute to their behavioural addiction.
- Detoxification – Some patients report feelings of insomnia, depression, anger, and panic when they stop participating in addictive behaviour. Therapeutic support by means of detoxification can help ease the patient’s transitional period and improve their capacity to stick to the treatment program.
- Treatment plan – The treatment plan is specific to the individual and this can involve many therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy, group therapy, contingency management, and more. The treatment plan will be based on the patient’s current circumstances, comfort level, and goals for when the recovery is completed.
- Family support – The support of families and loved ones can act as a strong catalyst in encouraging a person to undergo treatment. The patient will need every bit of support they can get as dealing with behavioural addiction can be just as difficult when dealing with substance abuse. Family members are encouraged to take part in the treatment program and provide a positive environment where the patient can continue to progress after their treatment has finished.
Non-substance addiction is a serious disease that requires immediate intervention. If left untreated, it can send the person into a downward spiral that’s even more difficult to recover from. If you or your loved one is exhibiting any symptoms of non-substance addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out to a dedicated specialist to help regain control of your life.